Schefter criticizes NFL for conducting draft with “carnage in the streets”

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The NFL is determined to proceed with the 2020 draft as scheduled, starting in 22 days. The Management Council Executive Committee has spoken loudly and clearly. The Commissioner has spoken loudly and clearly.

And the Commissioner had made it loud and clear that anyone from within the league who questions the decision will pay the price.

For years, Adam Schefter’s paycheck was signed by Goodell. Since 2009, Schefter has been employed by ESPN. And that gives him the freedom, in theory, to speak his mind without getting in direct trouble with Goodell. (Although there’s a chance someone at ESPN heard from Goodell today.)

“The draft is happening only through the sheer force and determination and lack of foresight from the NFL, frankly,” Schefter said on Tuesday night while appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “They are determined to put this on while there is carnage in the streets.”

Point taken, but here’s the counter: As thousands deal with the extreme, severe, and in way too many cases fatal effects of COVID-19, millions contend with the day-to-day drudgery of existing in a warped reality of every day being the same 6:00-a.m.-I-Got-You-Babe as the last, with nowhere to go, a relatively small range of things to do, and no end in sight.

The draft will give millions of football fans something positive to anticipate, balancing out the dread of a mushrooming tally of lives claimed by the coronavirus and a mountain of worries regarding the full extent of the damage this will cause. The draft will give millions of football fans a shared mutual experience for three days in April, at a time when the never-ending crush of bad news will make a respite from it even more important to the collective mental health of those who have yet to be affected by the virus personally.

There was an optics problem, in my view, with conducting free agency in the early days of the real-life Upside Down, as millions began to come to grips with lost jobs and revenue and real fears of potential illness or death. That didn’t stop the NFL from proceeding.

It became crystal clear last week, even before Goodell’s memo to all teams, that any effort to delay the draft would be similarly unsuccessful. And, again, there’s a plausible argument to be made that the draft can actually do some good for those who are confined to their homes for weeks if not months, not to mention the incoming players who otherwise would be in limbo.

All that said, Schefter was brave to take a stand, even if he took that stand not long after suggesting that the 2020 draft should be a full-week, one-round-per-night affair. He works for one of the networks that will be televising the draft, and he’ll be on the air throughout the three days of draft coverage. It’s also a network that has a billion-dollar partnership with the league — and that is believed by many to be on the brink, via its parent company, of expanding that partnership from Monday night to Thursday night and more.

33 responses to “Schefter criticizes NFL for conducting draft with “carnage in the streets”

  1. Nothing has changed with Schefter – No one cared what he said when he worked for Goodell and no one cares what he says now that he works for ESPN.

  2. You know, to avoid all of these “bad optics” while we have so much carnage on the streets, maybe we should just suspend all sports related endeavors altogether, including news sites, message boards and talk forums.
    I mean, how many more times can we catch the live version of the film Contagion without completely losing our minds?

  3. I don’t understand Schefter’s view. What are we supposed to do? Sit at home and watch only Covid-19 updates?

  4. He can refuse to cover it or otherwise report on it in protest. If he was serious of course, and not just virtue-signaling.

  5. this is what I don’t get.. if a 9/11 happened again they would suspend the draft.. we have a 9/11 going to be happening every 3 days leading up to the draft. I want to see the draft, as a Bills fan for a decade plus it was all I had to look forward to every year.. honestly though.. maybe they should consider pushing it off till June?

  6. Personally, I can’t wait. I don’t want it delayed. The only thing that would make it better would be putting it back on all day Saturday and all day Sunday. That was much better than it is now.

  7. It would be nice to just not think about COVID19 while watching executives make decisions online. However I kind of wish more people would think about COVID19 because it looks like everyone is just on vacation or taking up marathon running.

  8. He’s such a loser. NYC has nobody to blame but themselves and their incompetent governor. They didn’t want to abide by the social distancing and their governor failed to properly equip his state for a pandemic, so this is what they get. The rest of country will not stand still because of their incompetence

  9. How about Schefter taking his own advice and stop talking about something as trivial as sports “while there is carnage in the streets”. I however will enjoy the draft as will millions of others from home

  10. oh look at schefter, creating a schism.

    we have the technology to conduct the draft without putting people at risk. it may be less flashy, but that’s a small price to pay.

  11. We live in a country where the NFL is more important than natural disasters, presidential assassinations, and pandemics. And Schefter, too,

  12. I am often a critic of the NFL, in this case I think that the draft is entertaining and gives us
    at home something we can enjoy w/o risk of transmitting any pernicious ailment.

  13. The key to this is how the NFL presents the draft . Couple of things they could do . Set up a website to take donations for organizations providing assistance during the draft . Make sure they run plenty of PSAs during the draft including players and those on the front lines of the response . If they pay the proper respect to what’s going on then I think it’s a good thing to provide us a chance to take our minds off things for a few hours .

  14. Carnage in the streets? I get that we’re in dire straights right now, but there are not Corona virus wars raging in the streets.

    The draft will be a welcome respite from the daily dose of bad news pouring through our media outlets. The draft is something good that we can look forward to in the midst if this chaos. It can be conducted without putting people at risk, and there’s no good reason to postpone it.

  15. I’m still working with all the carnage in the streets, why can’t the NFL do the same?

  16. Yet he is still working as well. Maybe he should go dark until the carnage is cleared.

  17. Carnage in the streets…first thought, what superhero movie is this?

    If no one can literally catch the virus from having the draft, then why not have it?

  18. I’m not with him on this one. There’s a reason I keep coming to this website and others, and listening to podcasts, and even watching reruns of classic NFL games . . . we are all home, and we need distractions these days.

    As long as folks are being careful (like we are all now) and aren’t spreading the virus – – they should absolutely hold the draft.

  19. Schefter is going through withdrawal from the end of free agency season, when he gets all the attention. He had to cook up *some* reason for people to remember his name for another week. Since they moved the draft back, this is the hardest part of the year for him.

  20. I could understand this if they were doing an in-person event and making everyone leave their families and come together in a space. But it’s not, so his complaints are silly.

    Pro football is completely non-essential. Its only function is empty entertainment and the emotions and distraction it brings to people. So holding the draft is performing the one useful social function it has. Of course they should hold the draft.

  21. I know a million people who would like to have this twerps job. I mean all he does is text on his phone and spread gossip and rumors. Flipping self righteous dork.

  22. rs, Adam Schefter’s paycheck was signed by Goodell. Since 2009, Schefter has been employed by ESPN. And that gives him the freedom, in theory, to speak his mind without getting in direct trouble with Goodell. (Alth.

  23. more unsurprised by Brady leaving, unfazed by Stidham starting (74)
    Owners to vote next week on 14-team playoff (73)
    Buccaneers announce Tom Brady will wear No. 12 (72)
    NFL expands playoffs to 14 teams (70).

  24. I’ve never understood the mindset that EVERYTHING needs to be made negative during tough times. If things can go on safely why wouldn’t you want some sense of normalcy and some positive?

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