BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots ownership holds no ill will toward Chris Mortensen, but the team has never apologized to the ESPN reporter, according to Jonathan Kraft.
“I think that throughout the whole situation that transpired, a lot of respected reporters have received information that was false and really could have only been leaked by the league,” Kraft, the team’s president, told Marc Bertrand and Chris Gasper on Patriots Preview. “And in the ordinary course we’ve talked to some of those reporters and we told them that we don’t blame them for the misinformation. We blame their sources for using them.”
The Patriots’ main issue remains with the actual misinformation that was leaked by league, not the reporters who ran with that false info.
“Still, it hasn’t been corrected publicly. I think when the Wells report came out, some of those details were made public,” Kraft said. “We’ve still never gotten an explanation from the league why the erroneous reports weren’t corrected. And I think the sources for the misinformation are the only ones who should be apologizing to the reporters. We haven’t, and we really have no need to.”
Kraft’s story contrasts with Mortensen’s, who on Thursday said on an Arizona radio station that both Robert and Jonathan Kraft reached out to apologize for the reporter becoming a target in the DeflateGate story.
“I’ve had both Krafts — Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft — call me and apologize for just the way this thing has gone down,” Mortensen said.
That is, according to Kraft, another false report from Mortensen.
Kraft did not want to talk anymore about deflated footballs, but Gasper asked if the team feels that Mortensen owes the team an apology for refusing to correct the report after it was known to have been false.
“Our issue is with the people who were leaking misinformation, Kraft said. “That’s where our issue is. Because a lot of misinformation was leaked.”
Mortensen became a center of attention after he tweeted on the night of Jan. 20 that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 balls were measured a full 2 PSI under the lowest allowable limit of 12.5 PSI. This information turned out to be false, as proven by the measurements in the Wells Report, in which just one out of 22 measurements measured at 2 PSI under the limit.
Mortensen did not address his false report until Aug. 4, when he deleted the initial tweet — 197 days after reporting the misinformation. His story still lives on ESPN.com.
On July 29, Robert Kraft expressed his displeasure with the false report from January, and the NFL’s refusal to correct the record.
“[The Chris Mortensen report] was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion,” Robert Kraft said.
Listen to the full interview below: