Friday, September 21, 2012
Bart Scott, reporter get into it
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott and a reporter needed to be separated by a media relations staffer after the two got into an argument when the reporter tried to take a picture of Scott.
Scott, who has refused to do interviews since Week 1 of the season, was on his way out of the locker room and speaking to reporter Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com on Friday off the record when Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential magazine approached the linebacker to snap a picture with his phone to use on his website.
Scott asked Leberfeld why he was taking another picture of him -- after Leberfeld did the same thing Wednesday, upsetting another female reporter who was talking to the linebacker off the record.
Leberfeld, in his 18th season covering the team, told Scott he did it simply because he wanted to, and the linebacker told him to "get a life." Leberfeld fired back with a similar response.
Scott said he'd hit Leberfeld, who responded: "I'll sue you." Scott shouted, "I don't care!" and was led out of the locker room after a Jets media relations staffer intervened.
"We work hard to foster an appropriate working environment," the team said in a statement. "We regret this incident occurred and are reviewing the matter."
In an email to ESPNNewYork.com, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league does not intend to investigate the matter.
Leberfeld, who also works for Sirius XM Radio, told The Associated Press he never actually felt physically threatened.
"I don't think a player would be that stupid," he said. "A player would be suspended or have legal issues, so I don't think a player would ever do that."
Leberfeld added that he wanted the pictures because he's writing a story on writers talking to Scott in an attempt to negotiate with him to end his media boycott.
Scott has not conducted any formal interviews with the media since Week 1, when he said he was angry at reporters for portraying the Jets as a "circus." Leberfeld points out in the latest edition of his magazine that it was actually 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs, a close friend of Scott, who was the first to characterize the franchise as having a "circus" atmosphere during training camp.
This is not the first time Scott has had an issue with the media. The Jets fined him $10,000 in January for an obscene gesture he made toward a photographer as the team cleared out its lockers following the end of the regular season. Scott walked past reporters and then turned, stuck out his middle finger and used an expletive while telling a photographer to get the camera out of his face.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.