Adam Schefter found himself in hot water for his handling of the Dalvin Cook assault allegations that came to light on Tuesday night.
Schefter, ESPN’s NFL insider, reported that Cook had been “the victim of domestic abuse” and an extortion plot, via information that he got from Cook’s agent, Zac Hiller.
An incident occurred over one year ago, when a female US Military Sergeant used a stolen garage door opener to enter Cook’s home and attack a guest of Cook’s and Cook, per Hiller. “Military Sergeant maced Cook directly in his eyes immediately upon illegally entering”, Hiller said
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 10, 2021
However, since then, Cook has been accused of domestic violence in a lawsuit from his former girlfriend, Gracelyn Trimble. She alleged that Cook “physically abused her” and accused the Vikings’ running back of “giving me a concussion, leaving a scar on my face and taking me through hell.”
MORE: Dalvin Cook domestic violence incident, explained
Trimble’s lawsuit was first reported by The Star Tribune, and it contained a lot of information that wasn’t in Schefter’s original report. That led many to question why Schefter, who works for a national media outlet with far more resources than The Star Tribune, wasn’t able to get his hands on this information.
In fact, Trimble’s attorney Daniel Cragg went after Schefter for his reporting, and referred to it as “journalistic malpractice.”
“ESPN’s journalistic malpractice yesterday sends a painfully clear message to billions of girls and women around the world that they should be afraid to come forward because media companies like ESPN are more interested in protecting the powerful celebrities that make them money, rather than engaging in honest reporting and competent journalism,” Cragg’s said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Schefter acknowledged the shortcomings of his reporting during an appearance on SportsCenter.
“In a case like this, it’s important to reach out to all sides for information and comment,” Schefter said. “When I got the information the other night, I didn’t do that. I could have done a better job reaching out to the other people, especially on a story as sensitive and as significant as this. I didn’t do that properly. And it’s a reminder to slow down in this world.”
This is the second time in as many months that Schefter has come under fire for his reporting. He was criticized last month for an email he sent for former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen asking him to proofread the entirety of a 2011 story that Schefter wrote. Schefter responded to that criticism as well.
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Despite Schefter walking back his reporting process, Cook has maintained his innocence. He spoke for the first time about the allegations at a Wednesday news conference.
“I just want everybody to know, I’m the victim in this situation,” Cook said. “The truth and the details about the situation will come out at a further time.
“I would love to go in detail about the situation. But I don’t think that’ll be a good idea for me to sit here and talk about a situation that’s being handled on a different side.”