New York Times declines to retract NFL article

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If the statement provided to PFT by the New York Times didn’t make it clear enough, a March 30 letter from the Times to the league made if obvious. There will be no retraction of last week’s story regarding alleged flaws in concussion research and alleged ties to the tobacco industry.

In the three-page correspondence from New York Times V.P. and assistant general counsel David E. McCraw to NFL outside counsel Brad S. Karp, McCraw says that “nowhere does your letter [demanding retraction] identify any factual error that we have made in our reporting on the ties between the NFL and the tobacco industry.” McCraw also accuses the league of trying “to silence the public debate with legal threats,” calling the tactic a “disservice to its fans and, more generally, to the American people.”

Regarding the portion of the Times report that focused on concussion research, McCraw explains that the letter demanding the retraction confirms that the research was “deeply flawed and incomplete” and accuses the league of “bizarrely quibbl[ing] not over whether the research was valid . . . or whether the NFL defended the research for years . . . but whether the NFL has continued to ‘stand by’ the research.”

The letter ends, as many letters between lawyers on matters of significant contention do, with a flair. McCraw points out that Karp in a prior letter called the tobacco industry “perhaps [the] most odious industry in America[n] history,” but that Karp failed to mention “that it was your firm that represented Phillip Morris in [a] RICO case” filed by the U.S. Justice Department.

Via Politico, new NFL P.R. chief Joe Lockhart wouldn’t comment on whether the league will sue the Times. As previously explained, a defamation lawsuit is highly unlikely, given the various foreseeable (and potentially disastrous) consequences of pursuing such a claim.

58 responses to “New York Times declines to retract NFL article

  1. Why would you even edit the last line of that letter. It was perfectly clear and one of the best mic drops ever. Your need to do whatever you did to that sentence destroyed the effect. Sometimes, just let good things be good.

  2. The NYT (and the NFL for that matter) jumped the shark YEARS ago. I’m shocked the NYT even bothered to publish a statement.

    My favorite thing about the NTY is how they post a knowingly erroneous story, let it sit out there for days, then they publish a correction of sorts on the second to last page after public opinion has already been swayed.

    No one cares about the NYT outside of the bubble that is New York City.

  3. I love it!!!!!!!

    Now, let’s hope that the NYT does an article about how the NFL’s PR machine fabricates things to slant the story.

    I would love to see them double down!!!!

  4. “Well, it looks like we just made things worse. But here’s a bill for $5 million.”

  5. NFL is using the same tactic for CTE that Wells law firm used to defend Phillip Morris (yes,,,Big Tobacco) from RICO charges.

    Wells was an attorney on that case. Phillip Morris his client and he used Exponent Labs to contradict scientific evidence

    You may recall, Wells used Exponent Labs when investigating Deflategate. Their findings appeared in the Wells Report and have since been unanimously criticized by independent scientist

    …Anyone see a pattern here….??

  6. thedoctlc says:
    Mar 30, 2016 5:44 PM
    It is more probable than not that the league went home to get it’s (bleep)ing shinebox.

    ——–

    yeah,,,,That didnt end so well as i recall….

  7. Oh, please ,please,please, please, please, please. I just hope Roger shows the same level of introspection he has with every other case the NFL has taken on and proceeds full steam ahead into court with this.

  8. “My favorite thing about the NTY is how they post a knowingly erroneous story, let it sit out there for days, then they publish a correction of sorts on the second to last page after public opinion has already been swayed.”

    You’ve just perfectly described the NFL and ESPN, with the exception that corrections either happen in the middle of the night when no one is watching, or not at all.

  9. Both the NYT and the NFL have proven that they have little regard for the truth, ingrity, or professional ethics.

    It is ridiculous for either of these entities to point at the other. NYT Get your own house in order! NFL Get over yourselves!

    I’ve long ago given up on gaining any genuine insight from the New York Times, but unfortunately I am a football fan so the idiocy of the NFL continues bug me.

  10. Karp was one of the authors of the “Independent” Wells report along with Wells and Pash….Integrity at it’s highest. These are your deflategate heroes. This “Independent” group is who you have stood behind since January 18 2015…you should all be so proud that Goodell, Wells and all have been so thorough and honest. Let’s hear the chorus “but but but they cheat”

  11. New York Times???? LOL Hard to find a more biassed source of news then they are. Very unprofessional. reminds me of mainstream media.

  12. “Oh, please ,please,please, please, please, please. I just hope Roger shows the same level of introspection he has with every other case the NFL has taken on and proceeds full steam ahead into court with this.”

    HAHA Only if he can borrow Brady’s lawyer.

  13. I think its funny that the NFL doesn’t like it when someone posts erroneous stories, with no basis in fact, and feeds it to the general public. Then the NFL complains about someone accusing them of something they did not do. Now you know how the patriots feel.

  14. If the NFL were a sit-com, they’d have enough episodes for a full season:

    Ray Rice
    Adrian Petersen
    Greg Hardy
    Deflategate
    CTE research

    and more

  15. Both of these entities have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they fabricate the truth, intentionally try to deceive the public and push a self serving agenda at the expense of the truth.

    The only problem is one is a professional football league and the other is a news outlet.

    In this instance I feel the news outlet (Times) is much more insidious because they shape public policy.

  16. Billionaires are used to getting their way and tend to lack any self-awareness in the face of attack.
    I won’t be surprised if the NFL continues its comical counter-attack on the NYT.

    The NFL whining about inconclusive or incomplete evidence, circumstantial, unsubstantiated or just plain false data thrown out with “sensational headlines” is just awesome to watch as a fan of a certain team.
    But unlike the empirical data which actually supported that team so heavily punished by the NFL, the NFL has a tougher argument against the NYT times’ assertions against themselves.
    But go ahead and cry foul…it’s quite entertaining.

  17. Gooddell on the stand would be hilarious. He has no clue how to answer a question with a yes or no. He has no clue how to even answer a question resembling any type of honest answer. NFL has been taking PR hits for the last 5 years and at some point the trash at 345 park ave all need to be swept out of office. You can say the NFL is making more money than ever, but does anyone think if tags was still there the money would be any different? It’s a simple deduction and conclusion to make that the commissioner needs to go.

  18. One point seems to ring abundantly clear. The NFL cares as much about its players as the tobacco industry did about its customers. This is America and above all else the financial interests of the ruling class are paramount, at least in their collective greedy self serving minds.

  19. “In this instance I feel the news outlet (Times) is much more insidious because they shape public policy.”

    And, of course, you just happen to hate NE.

  20. I love it! The corrupt NFL mob, led by serial liar Goodell, is squirming. Huddling in their Park Ave offices wondering how they can lie their way out of this one. Keep this going NYT..Don’t let up.

  21. This is the NY Times, not a bastion of objective reporting. That the NFL is standing up to the Times is welcome because the real flaw in concussion research is with the league’s critics, not the league, and the whole tobacco argument is not relevant to anything – that the Times even brought it up should have been a red flag to readers.

  22. I think its funny how people on here think the times is somehow a legit news source. They report opinion as fact and you people gobble it up. The thing is, the nfl makes what, 10 billion a year and the NY Times is practically broke and has a waning following. If this goes to court the nfl could tie this up until the times files bankruptcy and is out of business. I hope it happens

  23. I think its funny how people on here think the times is somehow a legit news source. They report opinion as fact and you people gobble it up.
    ————-
    And I think its funny how you’re missing the point (perhaps deliberately so). We don’t really care about the NYT. We just find the fact that the NFL doesn’t like the shoe being on the other foot to be the sweetest irony.

  24. If Ted Wells law firm can be legal counsel to the NFL on this one (after being the “independent” investigator), then how about if Judge Berman can be the “neutral” arbitrator. Sounds fair to me.

  25. LOL.

    Another respected news source outside New England takes the league to task and fans of the 31 take aim at the messenger.

    Classic internet folly.

    Face it. The Times printed accurate factual information and left it up to the readers to draw parallels.

    The best part is the article isn’t about the Patriots at all. It’s awesome to see fans who despise the Patriots whine about the NYTimes just because Patriots fans say “I told you so”.

    Keep it coming.

  26. raidernation37 says:
    Mar 30, 2016 7:45 PM

    I think its funny how people on here think the times is somehow a legit news source. They report opinion as fact and you people gobble it up. The thing is, the nfl makes what, 10 billion a year and the NY Times is practically broke and has a waning following. If this goes to court the nfl could tie this up until the times files bankruptcy and is out of business. I hope it happens
    ________________________________________

    You are correct… the same way people gobble up what the NFL and ESPN put out there. Planting mis-information to sway public opinion. Nobody should believe what comes out of the NFL, but some fans do…and “E”SPN has always been more about “E”ntertainment, than true sports journalism. So, fans shouldn’t count them as a “legit news source”, but they do.

    NFL repeatedly exposed and proven to be liars. NYT is just shining a spot light on what most of us already knew. NFL used ESPN in deflategate to sway public opinion. NYT is being used to do the same thing to NFL with CTE issue.

    NYT is already going down. I hope they take Goodell, and crew with them!

  27. This is really stupid on the NFL’s part. The NFL has friends in the media. The New York Times IS the media.

  28. The NFL is feeling more like FIFA each day.

    Fans love the sport with a passion equaled only by their distrust and anger for the administrators, lawyers, and politicians who run it.

    #FreeOurFootball

  29. Some of the owners have to be embarrassed with the way the league office is conducting themselves.
    Demand a retraction from a newspaper, barely anybody knew there even was an article printed. With print taking its final laps and paywalls put up, there are too many options for free news and reading.

  30. tylawspick6 says:
    Mar 30, 2016 7:19 PM
    Arrest, try and convict Roger Goodell.
    ——————-
    Try?
    hahahahahaha……………….

  31. “One point seems to ring abundantly clear. The NFL cares as much about its players as the tobacco industry did about its customers. This is America and above all else the financial interests of the ruling class are paramount, at least in their collective greedy self serving minds.”

    Couldn’t have said it better…..

  32. monkeesfan says:
    Mar 30, 2016 7:21 PM
    This is the NY Times, not a bastion of objective reporting. That the NFL is standing up to the Times is welcome because the real flaw in concussion research is with the league’s critics, not the league, and the whole tobacco argument is not relevant to anything – that the Times even brought it up should have been a red flag to readers.
    ================================
    OK Roger,
    Thank you for your input. Now how about resigning and let some competent people run the league.

  33. raidernation37 says:
    Mar 30, 2016 7:45 PM

    I think its funny how people on here think the times is somehow a legit news source. They report opinion as fact and you people gobble it up. The thing is, the nfl makes what, 10 billion a year and the NY Times is practically broke and has a waning following. If this goes to court the nfl could tie this up until the times files bankruptcy and is out of business. I hope it happens
    ———————————–

    The NFL threatened to sue the NY Times, so why would the NY Times give a damn whether the NFL tied it up?

  34. raidernation37 says:
    Mar 30, 2016 7:45 PM
    I think its funny how people on here think the times is somehow a legit news source.

    Yeah, about as legit as tweets from an ESPN monkey. Still caused a lot of damage. Sad that it had to come to this for some to realize how hard they have been played.That many don’t get it is just too perfect. Particularly interesting the level of defense of the NFL mounted by Denver fans. I guess when the league is in bed with proven salary cap cheaters you have their back.

  35. raidernation37 says:
    Mar 30, 2016 7:45 PM
    I think its funny how people on here think the times is somehow a legit news source. They report opinion as fact and you people gobble it up. The thing is, the nfl makes what, 10 billion a year and the NY Times is practically broke and has a waning following. If this goes to court the nfl could tie this up until the times files bankruptcy and is out of business. I hope it happens

    ——————–

    That does not make them wrong in this case. If there NYT published and article that the earth was round would you simply deny it because the NYT published it?

  36. The NFL may be right to demand a retraction or take them to court, but they stand to lose so much more if they lose than they could possibly gain if they win.

    You gotta be sleazy when you’re dealing with sleaze. Good job, Times.

  37. glac1 says:
    Mar 30, 2016 6:22 PM

    New York Times???? LOL Hard to find a more biassed source of news then they are. Very unprofessional. reminds me of mainstream media.
    ————————————————
    By biased you mean that you don’t agree. If the NYT isn’t mainstream media(whatever that means) what is? I’m always curious when someone goes to the “mainstream media” card just what they mean. NBC,CBS,ABC,CNN, FOX, NYT, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, etc? Just what media source do they trust? These people eat up the words of those who point at the press and blame them for all that’s wrong. It’s an old cliché but shooting the messenger is exactly what those that vilify them want. They want to steer the message and sometimes the last thing they want is the truth. In the NFL’s case that’s just plain obvious. The last thing the NFL wants is for the truth to be told and as has been already proven multiple times will go to any lengths to make sure the truth never sees the light of day.

  38. Yes, a newspaper that’s been around since 1851 with the second largest circulation in the U.S. and has been long regarded in the industry as a national “newspaper of record” is not a credible source.

  39. chuckshontaspads says:
    Mar 30, 2016 6:20 PM
    Karp was one of the authors of the “Independent” Wells report along with Wells and Pash….Integrity at it’s highest. These are your deflategate heroes. This “Independent” group is who you have stood behind since January 18 2015…you should all be so proud that Goodell, Wells and all have been so thorough and honest. Let’s hear the chorus “but but but they cheat”

    ———————————
    Of course they cheat. Ravens and Colts had bad years, that’s proof.

  40. bangithard says:
    Mar 30, 2016 5:57 PM
    I LIKE THIS KIND OF PARTY!!!!!

    ALL DAY LONG!!!

    ————————————-
    Ikr? So now that the NYT scored another TD the NFL has the ball back and we are eagerly awaiting to see what they do for their next play.

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