BOSTON -- The Boston Herald apologized Wednesday for reporting the New England Patriots videotaped a walkthrough by the St. Louis Rams a day before the 2002 Super Bowl.
|The Herald's story was 'very damaging,' Pats owner Robert Kraft said. (Provided to CBSSports.com)|
Walsh told Goodell he did not tape the walkthrough and had no knowledge that any other Patriots employees did so.
The Herald's story cited unidentified sources and was released Feb. 2, one day before New England's 17-14 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants.
In the apology, published in the newspaper's Wednesday edition and posted on its website, the Herald said the story was based on sources "it believed to be credible."
"We now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed," the paper wrote.
"We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification. The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots' owners, players, employees and fans for our error."
The newspaper featured a front-page headline reading: "Sorry, Pats." It placed the three-paragraph apology on the back inside page of the newspaper.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft held up a copy of the newspaper during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday.
He called the story "very damaging" and said he was glad the paper admitted its mistake. But he said the Herald's apology probably couldn't undo the damage to the team's reputation nationwide.
"This erroneous story coming out was really harmful, and what bothers me more about this story is where it went, throughout the country, where people don't know us as well," he said. "And unfortunately, now they won't see this retraction. But people who know us, know what we're about."
The Spygate investigation began after the NFL confiscated tapes from a Patriots employee who recorded the New York Jets' defensive signals during the 2007 opener. New England coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, while the team was fined $250,000 and forced to forfeit its 2008 first-round draft choice.
Goodell said Walsh had no information about any other spying by the Patriots.