MORE FALLOUT FROM THE “JON GRUDEN EMAIL SCANDAL:” ESPN’s Adam Schefter Latest Person to Face Heat in Jon Gruden Email Scandal.
The NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team that led to the discovery of offensive emails sent by Jon Gruden between 2011 and ’18 has now unearthed an email from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that is causing a big stir in the journalism world.
The Los Angeles Times reported that in July 2011, Schefter emailed a complete draft of a story about the NFL lockout that ESPN was publishing that day to then WFT president Bruce Allen.
“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am ….”
While giving Allen the chance to change the story is bad, that “Mr. Editor” line is so cringe.
Most journalists will send quotes or an overview of a story to someone to give them the opportunity to respond on the record. Sending an entire story is totally unethical.
Meanwhile: Washington cheerleaders furious over topless photo leak in Jon Gruden scandal.
According to WFT cheerleaders, who spoke with the Daily Beast Tuesday, emails showing images of topless cheerleaders from a past swimsuit photoshoot video were allegedly passed around by Gruden to then-WFT general manager Bruce Allen.
Gruden, at the time, was a color commentator for ESPN, and Allen had hired Gruden’s brother Jay to coach the team.
In the 10-minute video, first reported by the Washington Post in 2020, WFT staffers were allegedly instructed to take behind-the-scenes content at the swimsuit photoshoot, to package and create a video featuring only “the good bits” — reportedly of bare nipples and pubic areas while cheerleaders were changing clothes or moving around. According to the outlet, the video was shared with WFT team owner Daniel Snyder, who later denied the allegations.
While the media has, not surprisingly, dubbed this the “Jon Gruden email scandal,” in reality, as Amber Athey wrote yesterday, “The email fiasco reeks of a bait-and-switch. There are two obvious motivations for the leak: to protect Washington Redskins—er, Football Team—owner Dan Snyder and to avenge NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:”
Gruden’s emails were unearthed during the discovery process for an investigation into the WFT’s alleged toxic workplace environment. Investigators had access to more than half a million emails as part of the investigation, but oddly only Gruden’s were leaked to the media. Not only have we not seen Snyder’s emails, we don’t even really know the results of the investigation because the NFL opted not to publicly release detailed findings. All we learned from the probe is that Snyder was found to have presided over a “very toxic” and “unprofessonial” workplace and ordered to pay a measly $10 million fine. Oh, and he was still allowed to purchase a minority stake in the WFT, giving him more control over the team than ever.
To recap, if you are accused by nearly 50 women of running a toxic and sexist workplace environment but suck up to the NFL commissioner, you will get a slap on the wrist. If you beat your girlfriend, you will be drafted and rewarded with a multi-million dollar contract. But if you call the NFL commissioner a “pussy,” “someone” will leak your emails to the media and you will lose your job.
After Gruden was made an unperson in the NFL over his decade-old emails this week, I can’t wait for the G-rated language during the Super Bowl halftime show in February: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar will headline.