As expected, former Saints defensive back and special teams standout Steve Gleason has issued a statement regarding the decision of filmmaker Sean Pamphilon to release audio that he recorded the night before the Saints lost to the 49ers in the NFC playoffs.
“Sean Pamphilon and I have agreement that all recordings ultimately belong to me and my family,” Gleason writes. “Nothing can be released without my explicit approval. I did not authorize the public release of any recordings.”
Gleason, whose blocked punt during the first game in the Superdome after a hurricane ravaged the city became the turning for the franchise, suffers from ALS, a fatal disease. Pamphilon has been working with Gleason to document his battle with the illness. Though some believe the goal is to “sell” a documentary, Gleason’s explains that his goal was to create “a video journal library, documenting my thoughts on life to pass on to Rivers,” his young son.
“Since my retirement, and specifically this year, the Saints have opened their doors and included me in countless team functions,” Gleason writes. “I included Sean Pamphilon in these activities, because I felt my relationship with the Saints was an integral part of my overall journey. The Saints trusted me and gave us unlimited access in filing, and I, in turn, trusted Sean Pamphilon.”
At a time when so much focus has been on the things Gregg Williams said, it’s easy to forget that Gleason is now dealing with the fact that, via Pamphilon’s actions, Gleason has made a bad situation worse for the Saints.
“I feel deflated and disappointed,” Gleason writes. “I feel frustrated and distracted. Nevertheless, these feelings will pass, and I will continue steadfast in my mission.”
And so at a time when many are celebrating Pamphilon for doing the right thing (regardless of whether he was motivated by a desire to promote himself and his film projects) and correctly wagging the finger even harder at the Saints, let’s not forget that Pamphilon has betrayed the trust of a dying man.
It’s just another sad twist to one of the most unfortunate stories the NFL has ever seen.