Three members of the 2009 Saints involved in today’s bounty appeal hearing have issued a statement, which was just distributed by the NFL Players Association.
The statement, sent in the names of Scott Fujita (now with the Browns), Anthony Hargrove (now with the Packers), and Will Smith, uses strong language in advance of their meeting with Roger Goodell.
The statement of the text in full:
“We have purportedly been disciplined by the Commissioner for alleged activities that the National Football League has grossly misrepresented to the public.
“We are in attendance today not because we recognize the Commissioner’s jurisdiction to adjudicate regarding these specious allegations, but because we believe the League would attempt to publicly mischaracterize our refusal to attend. We will not address the substance of the NFL’s case because this is not the proper venue for adjudication, and there has been no semblance of due process afforded to us.
“As veteran players of 11, 9 and 9 years in this League, we are profoundly disappointed with the NFL’s conduct in this matter. We know what the NFL has publicly said we did, and the Commissioner has chosen to try to punish us and disparage our characters based on semantics, not facts. Words are cheap and power is fleeting.
“Shame on the National Football League and Commissioner Goodell for being more concerned about ‘convicting’ us publicly than being honorable and fair to men who have dedicated their professional lives to playing this game with honor.”