ESPN’s Adam Schefter issued an apology in his “The Adam Schefter Podcast” on Monday, discussing the tweet he made in announcing the death of Dwayne Haskins on Saturday.
Schefter’s wording in that tweet drew ire from fans, fellow sports journalists, teammates of Haskins and players across the league for being insensitive. The original tweet, which Schefter deleted soon after, read “Dwayne Haskins, a standout at Ohio State before struggling to catch on with Washington and Pittsburgh in the NFL, died this morning when he got hit by a car in South Florida, per his agent Cedrick Saunders. Haskins would have turned 25 years old on May 3.”
The issue people had with the tweet was about the “struggling to catch on with Washington and Pittsburgh in the NFL.” Many believed that it was unnecessary to discuss his performance in the NFL when he had just recently died. Schefter did issue a new tweet to solely address Haskins’ death, but he had not make any public apology until today.
“First, I want to address the death of Dwayne Haskins and the tweet that I posted this weekend,” Schefter said. “It was insensitive, it was a mistake and I can assure you it was not my intention. I wish I could have that tweet back. The focus should’ve been on Dwayne. Who he was as a person, a husband, a friend and so much more. I want to apologize to Dwayne’s family, his friends, the players of the National Football league and offer my condolences to everyone close to Dwayne.”
Much of Schefter’s three and half minute apology focused less on himself and more on who Haskins was a man, a Steeler and what he meant to those that met him. He did not make any comment on Haskins’ struggles in the NFL in his apology.
“After his outstanding career at Ohio State, which led him to become a first round draft pick, most recently Dwayne appreciated the opportunity the Steelers had given him and he was responding to it. Every day when he left practice, he would bump fists with head coach Mike Tomlin, with general manager Kevin Colbert and with team president Art Rooney [II], which was his way of showing he was grateful to be a part of the organization. They grew incredibly fond of him, and there was a mutual respect and appreciation.”
Schefter also discussed Haskins’ love for Pittsburgh and for the opportunity he got after being released by Washington in his second season.
“Dwayne loved living in Pittsburgh and rarely left. He was in the Steelers training facility every day after this season ended, working to make himself better. To give himself a chance to compete for the team’s starting quarterback job. There are those in the organization who were convinced he was on his to doing it and that his best days were ahead of him. Dwayne was with the Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan every day watching film and when he wasn’t taking steps there in the film room, he was in the weight room working out.”
Schefter made note of how Haskins worked hard off the field in his work with the community, much of it his own doing and not requested by the Steelers.
“He was making a difference not just on the field, but off it where he was known to be incredibly selfless. He was as active as any Steeler in the community, never saying no to anything the team requested, going to food drives around Thanksgiving with Turkeys and taking kids shopping for toys around Christmas. He did work in the community without the team asking or even knowing he did it. He immersed himself into the community and he had become a part of it. Just a few weeks ago, he went on a Steelers fan cruise and by the end of it, he was the most popular player on that cruise and they all wanted him to come back.”
He finished his apology by sending his condolences to Haskins’ loved ones and friends. He also acknowledged the love Haskins received from across the league in the wake of his death and just how much he meant to those that played with him.
“His was a life taken too young. He was 24 years old, a month shy of his 25th birthday. This is the Dwayne Haskins that deserves to be remembered. This is the way he was and the way he lived and apologies that was not made clear or sooner by me. But the people who knew him best knew this already. This was the man they knew. He always will be missed and always will be remembered.”