A USA Today sports writer incited outrage Saturday after he suggested that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should never be allowed to coach children's sports again due to the "credible" accusations of sexual misconduct against him.
The suggestion ignited a firestorm of controversy.
What did the reporter say?
The writer, USA Today sports reporter Erik Brady, said Kavanaugh should never coach girl's basketball again absent an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against him. It's a possibility that Kavanaugh himself lamented during his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The sports writer explained his rationale by implying Kavanaugh may be a danger to children.
"The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around," Brady wrote. "The nation is newly vigilant on who coaches and trains its children given recent scandals in gymnastics and other sports."
Brady goes on to interview Edward McFadden, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington. McFadden told Brady that Kavanaugh underwent an extensive background check in order to coach his daughter's basketball team. And because Kavanaugh has a clean background and no criminal record, he remains eligible to coach.
"But should he?" Brady questioned. "The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?"
What was the response?
Outrage poured in from every corner of the internet.
Throwing a question mark over a smear doesn't make it any less disgusting https://t.co/VSSfrAhWqe— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 29, 2018
And it starts up again-— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) September 29, 2018
The media’s self-degradation in its pursuit of destroying Kavanaugh has no bottom. https://t.co/T12NG2Njrp
What a repulsive item. Should never have been published. https://t.co/vqEnUssUKV— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) September 29, 2018
Let me get this straight @USATODAY...you believe uncorroborated allegations from 30+ years ago allow in essence to call someone a pedophile? #Kavanaugh claims the media will continue to attack him and you just proved his point. Despicable. https://t.co/r22iTIqBfS— Michael Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) September 29, 2018
"I am beyond disgusted, every person who works at USA Today should feel deeply ashamed of this article," another person said.
"I’m a lifelong Republican. In 2003 I married a Democrat. He pulled a Republican Ballot in 2016. After I showed him this article he went to local Republican Headquarters and picked up a yard sign for every R on the ticket. It’s unlikely he will ever vote D again," another critic said.
"Smearbait. No trails. No due process. News is dead," another person added.
"I'll be canceling my local paper because it contains your insert," another person wrote in response.
USA Today editors appear to have edited the article sometime Saturday, though the actual edits were not noted. However, in examining an archived version of the article, editors seemingly deleted the article's most controversial paragraphs, the ones suggesting Kavanaugh should not be allowed to coach because "credible" sexual assault allegations against him endanger children.