The NFL has circulated a transcript of Thursday morning’s media conference call with Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor who has been hired by the league to review the evidence regard the Saints’ bounty program.
The NFLPA’s outside counsel, former prosecutor Richard Smith of Fulbright & Jaworski, wasn’t impressed with Ms. White’s characterization of the evidence made available to the union.
“I was at the meeting with the NFL’s lead investigators in March,” Smith said in an email forwarded to PFT by the NFLPA. “She was not there. Anyone, especially former prosecutors like both of us, know that what the league provided could never be called ‘substantial evidence’ of player participation in a pay-to-injure program. Worse yet, Mary Jo provided nothing new or compelling today beyond another press briefing. My guess is that a veteran FBI agent like Joe Hummel would agree as well.”
The competing positions make even more clear the importance of full public disclosure of all relevant evidence to support the NFL’s claims. The league has made this a public issue from the outset, and the NFLPA has joined the battle in very public fashion. Surely, the two sides can agree that it’s in everyone’s best interests for the public to know the facts.
And if the NFL and NFLPA can’t agree on that, then there’s a good chance they’ll never agree on anything again.