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Adam Schefter Addresses Email Scandal: 'It Was a Step too Far'

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 10/14/2021 Wilton Jackson
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"I took the rare step of sending the full story in advance because of the complex nature of the collective bargaining talks. It was a step too far," Schefter said.

ESPN's Adam Schefter issued a statement on Wednesday addressing his emails sent to then-Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen during the 2011 NFL lockout.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Schefter sent a complete draft of an ESPN story to Allen for approval. The emails surfaced amid the league's investigation into workplace harassment allegations with the Washington Football Team.

“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote in the email. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am ….”

ESPN released a statement on behalf of Schefter, who stated it is common journalism practice to consult with a story source. 

"Fair questions are being asked about my reporting approach on an NFL Lockout story from 10 years ago," Schefter said in the statement. "Just to clarify, it's common practice to verify facts of a story with sources before you publish in order to be as accurate as possible. 

"In this case, I took the rare step of sending the full story in advance because of the complex nature of the collective bargaining talks. It was a step too far and, looking back, I shouldn't have done it. The criticism being levied is fair. With that being said, I want to make this perfectly clear: in no way did I, or would I, cede editorial control or hand over final say about a story to anyone, ever."

This development comes days after the New York Times uncovered numerous emails Jon Gruden sent to Allen containing misogynistic, racist and anti-LGBTQ slurs between 2011 and '18. Gruden resigned Monday as the Raiders head coach.

After the Gruden scandal, Lisa Banks and Debra Kata, the lawyers representing 40 former WFT employees, released a statement calling for the NFL to release the full findings of its inquiry into the franchise.

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