Official Statement of Launy Schwartz Regarding Gillette Drafted Season 2
By Launy "The" Schwartz
September 21, 2010
Official Statement of Launy Schwartz regarding Gillette Drafted Season 2
Monday September 21st, Gillette Drafted aired an episode in which I got kicked off the show, falsely accused of breaching confidentiality.
First, I would like to say, I made many new friends on the show, and wish the best to my fellow contestants.
Second, I must strongly and vehemently deny that which I was falsely – and harmfully – accused of.
Greg Sansone, the vice president of television for the Score, and judge in the competition, said a friend and colleague of his was at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, while I was also there to cover the event. This anonymous individual alleged that I went to a group of media and bragged that I made the top-10 for Drafted.
Let me make very clear at the outset, I never intimated, nor divulged to anyone – other than my wife – that I was selected as part of Gillette Drafted’s top-10. I have always denied, and will continue to vehemently deny, this irresponsible and damaging allegation. Why would I want to jeopardize something for which I’ve worked so hard to achieve most of my life?
Whether this accusation is based on a misunderstanding or malicious intent, I do not know, but a couple points appear suspect:
1. I was in Vegas about one month prior to the official reveal of the show’s 10 contestants. To allege that I would announce such a secret to the media - whose job it is to scoop and tell secrets - is absurd. No stories ever appeared in any media that would corroborate with this accusation. Were the allegation true, over the course of a month, wouldn’t a story have appeared somewhere about me being a finalist? And were this the case, Mr. Sansone’s friend wouldn’t have had to tell him; the media would have done so first. Also, it took more than a month, before my name “casually came up in conversation” between Mr. Sansone and his friend, coincidentally on the first day of the competition’s production.
2. While in Vegas, I did encounter several “media” friends who knew I had entered the contest. Among them, were quite a few proponents who were so confident in my abilities that they would tell others, “This guy’s gotta be top-10.” Is it possible that Mr. Sansone’s friend misconstrued such a statement?
Despite attempts to find out, I have never been made privy to the identity of my accuser, nor was he identified on the broadcast. There has been no clear and convincing proof to substantiate his allegation. There hasn’t even been any evidence or conversations presented. There is just the word of one anonymous man against my word – and against the word of many of my colleagues present in Vegas, who know I never exposed this private information.
There is one thing for which I would like to apologize:
To all my fans, friends, and family, you have been so generous with your support. I am sorry I could not tell you sooner about this unfortunate circumstance. As I am man of integrity, I felt badly maintaining a façade about my participation in the show, but my feelings were superseded by my confidentiality agreement - which I NEVER broke. Just know, every vote you casted and every comment you made, was not in vain; everything you did was noticed and appreciated.
To anyone who says the one mistake I made in trivia is a reflection of my ability to be a sportscaster for the Score, that is nothing but hyperbole. In the first season of Drafted, I believe each contestant made mistakes in trivia, including the winner, Paul Brothers. They were lucky. It was not sudden death trivia. I went out on the third question. (The second question was edited out on TV.) I knew I made the error the minute I flipped my card to reveal the answer. There is probably not a single sportscaster who can answer every trivia question. It doesn’t mean nobody is capable of being a sportscaster. Alex Trebek surely cannot answer every question on Jeopardy; yet, he hosts the show.
Again, it bears repeated emphasis that before the official top-10 announcement was made by the Score, I never insinuated, nor told anyone - other than my wife - that I was chosen as a finalist in the reality show. Nor had my wife insinuated or told anyone of this.
This has been my dream since I was a child. I would not risk or forsake an opportunity for which I have worked towards my entire adult life, in spite of numerous obstacles. Throughout my life, circumstance has created extra challenges for me to overcome, and so when opportunities did not present themselves, I created them. For instance, my co-creation Hockey54.com has allowed me to break into the world of hockey broadcasting, in a way that most conventional media jobs would not allow. In interviewing hockey stars, such as Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Gordie Howe, I have carved a niche for myself that I will continue to grow. I am a sportscaster, and will continue down this path as I take my career to the next level.
But, the statement made by Greg Sansone, thus Gillette Drafted, and thus the Score Television Network, is untrue, unfounded, harmful, damaging, and possibly irreparably damaging to my career and reputation; a reputation that I have worked very hard to build among NHL players, hockey insiders, young goalies whom I coach and mentor, and the public at large.
Along my brief journey with the reality show to become “Canada’s Next Sportscaster” with Drafted, I made some good friends and wish them all the best on the show, with their careers, and in their lives. And I learned that reality is not always real.
To be eliminated based on a falsehood, which questioned my integrity does hurt. I would have much preferred to be eliminated based on merit.
I will continue to vehemently deny the false accusation made by the Score, and will just as strongly continue to pursue that next level in my career as a sports broadcaster. And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say: I may not have been Drafted, but at least now, I am a free agent.