As the fallout continues from the re-issuing of suspensions to those players who were involved in the New Orleans Saints pay-for-performance scandal, players are coming out and speaking against the NFL commissioner for the way he has handled the entire situation. The latest player to speak out is linebacker Scott Fujita, who is now with the Cleveland Browns.
Fujita started off by expressing his happiness with the commissioner. “I’m pleased the Commissioner has finally acknowledged that I never participated in any so-called “bounty” program, as I’ve said for the past 7 months,” he said.
Then, the statement’s tone completely changed and Fujita went in on the NFL commish.
“However, his condescending tone was neither accurate nor productive. Additionally, I am now purportedly being suspended for failing to confront my former defensive coordinator for his inappropriate use of language,” Fujita added. “This seems like an extremely desperate attempt to punish me. I also think it sets a bad precedent when players can be disciplined for not challenging the behavior of their superiors.
“This is an absolute abuse of the power that’s been afforded to the Commissioner.”
Many people couldn’t agree more. Goodell continues to step outside of his jurisdiction with this bounty investigation and punishment and the league will end up back in court over this.
As Fujita continued his statement, he made a fair point about Goodell endangering the NFL players.
“The Commissioner says he is disappointed in me. The truth is, I’m disappointed in him. His positions on player health and safety since a 2009 congressional hearing on concussions have been inconsistent at best. He failed to acknowledge a link between concussions & post-career brain disease, pushed for an 18-game regular season, committed to a full season of Thursday night games, has continually challenged players’ rights to file workers compensation claims for on-the-job injuries, and he employed incompetent replacement officials for the start of the 2012 season. His actions or lack thereof are by the league’s own definition, “conduct detrimental.”
“My track record on the issue of player health & safety speaks for itself. And clearly, as I just listed, the Commissioner’s does too.”
Well said, Fujita. You couldn’t be more accurate.
As more comes of player safety in the NFL, the public is beginning to realize the inconsistencies from the NFL commissioner. If he truly is all about player safety, then he needs to stop this witch hunt and get to the real issues at hand that can start with protecting players on the defensive side of the ball.
Hats off to the suspended players for speaking up and not being afraid of what the commissioner will do next.