First off: RIP Dwayne Haskins. Just tragic news to see. I hope his family is okay. Taken far too soon. There isn’t a lot I knew about him prior to this happening, so I don’t have a lot I feel I can say, but I really hope his loved ones are doing alright and they make it through this.

Adam Schefter’s reputation has been slowly eroding over the years and the tragedy pushed him further into the hole. If you missed it, the tweet he made announcing the news honestly wasn’t awful by any stretch, but the inclusion of “struggling to catch on” was not the way to phrase a summary of a man’s career hours after he passed. Not as a professional reporter. It got a massive overblown backlash (because, you know, that’s twitter’s reason to exist) and he eventually apologized for it later. I still don’t think the tweet was that bad but considering Schefter’s had a bit of a history here and as stated before, his reputation has gone slowly downhill as he’s become more and more of an ESPN corporate stooge. He’s not Darren Rovell levels of clueless or Mike Florio levels of needlessly petty but he’s getting there.

The tweet did spark a larger conversation on how athletes are not viewed as people very often but as commodities and just as what they’ve accomplished on the field. That’s true, but I saw his tweet as a symptom of a different problem. The current news climate of needing to be “first”. To me Schefter was just trying to give a brief career summary of a football player and didn’t properly choose his words, because he was more concerned with breaking the news than anything else. Schefter has made his entire career out of being the first to break news. He’s a trusted mouthpiece for almost everyone. Breaking the news brings eyeballs to your employers so being first matters. If anything his dumb tweet probably brought ESPN even more traffic, because hate traffic is still traffic.

Being first is a fucking industry now. Schefter was a good reporter for a while because he was usually right (and still usually is). But you also got folks like Mike Florio of PFT who publishes basically any rumor he hears because a few of them are going to be right by chance, and now he’s got a media empire. All those rumors and stories PFT got wrong? Who cares. What matters is you got to it first, you got people talking. Media outlets literally compete in trying to be the first place to put a review of a movie or game up. First first first. It shouldn’t matter that you were the first to tweet the news about a man tragically dying. It’s depressing that it does. The news doesn’t change either way, and the faster you go the more likely you are to make a mistake.

It brings me a small amount of comfort because I’ll never have this problem. I’m perpetually late to the party! Take that, Schefter.