When New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul filed a lawsuit against ESPN’s Adam Schefter for publicly tweeting his leaked medical records, it left many to question the morals and journalist integrity in this new media world.
In February it was announced New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul would be suing ESPN and Adam Schefter for posting his medical records. The lawsuit is in reference to Pierre-Paul’s July 4th injury, resulting in the amputation of his finger. However…the one question plaguing most sports fans is did Schefter go too far?
When Schefter first tweeted Pierre-Paul’s records, most fans wanted to find out as much information as they could about the freak accident. Members of the media continued to report on the incident without even giving Pierre-Paul’s right to privacy a second thought. Obviously, Schefter didn’t when he posted the infamous tweet which broadcasted private medical records for everyone to see.
When Schefter was originally asked about broadcasting private medical records, he told SI.com that it never really was a concern for him:
“This was a public figure and franchise player involved in a widely speculated accident with potential criminal behavior in which there was a cone of secrecy that surrounded him for five days that not even his own team could crack…[I]n a day and age in which pictures and videos tell stories and confirm facts, in which sources and their motives are routinely questioned, and in which reporters strive to be as accurate as possible, this was the ultimate supporting proof.
“In trying to be thorough and accurate, we delivered that news as soon as possible with the supporting proof if it happened. To me, that’s just doing my job”
This where it starts to get difficult for Schefter…
As the NFL insider at ESPN, we all look to him to find out the juiciest gossip and breaking news. We never think about who he has to talk to or what actually happens to allow him to obtain that information. But after this move, his legitimacy as a member of the media is being called into question and as a journalist, you’re only as good as your credibility.
If Schefter physically had the records, it would be seen as sketchy. Then to tweet them out for everyone to see…that’s just disgusting. It’s also alarming Schefter was able to obtain the records so easily. And it screams questionable judgement that he thought tweeting them for the world to see was a good idea.
Schefter represents that portion of the media who will do anything for a story which at times can be great but now seems horrific. While Schefter is ESPN’s ear to NFL, he is a person who should have morals and values. Jason Pierre-Paul’s injury and medical records are his personal business and should never have been posted. If Schefter can’t understand that, he deserves all of the criticism he’s getting.
Featured image via Penn Law ESLS