The league’s decision to allow former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to attend Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and the Rams has spawned a string of conflicts accounts and explanations.
Adam Schefter of ESPN explained earlier today that Williams is permitted to attend any game he wants. Williams, as Schefter explained it, has been banned not suspended. As a result, Williams currently isn’t employed by any team. So he can go watch any team play.
The league tells PFT that Williams needs to request permission on a game-by-game basis. The mere fact that Williams must say “mother may I” suggests that he’s not free and clear to attend games on the basis that he has been banned.
Moreover, banned is worse than suspended. So if the guys how have been suspended can’t attend, why can the guy who has been banned attend?
Most importantly, he hasn’t been banned. He has been suspended. As the Rams explained it earlier today via email to PFT: “He was hired by the Rams as defensive coordinator, then the NFL suspended him indefinitely.”
So he’s still employed by the Rams. And given that he has received the worst of the various suspensions, the fact that he has been permitted to attend a game makes the league’s decision even more curious.
Vilma is referring to the September 14 sworn statement from Williams, which implicates Vilma as offering $10,000 to whoever knocked former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game. And Vilma implies that the league allowed Williams to attend the game because Williams cooperated with the league.
Either way, suspended Saints coach Sean Payton should be demanding the ability to attend Sunday night’s game between the Chargers and the Saints — and if the league says no, he should be demanding an explanation.