Fujita: Goodell’s the one committing conduct detrimental to the NFL

AP

A reduction of his suspension from three games to one game has not made Browns linebacker Scott Fujita any happier with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In reducing Fujita’s suspension, Goodell reiterated that he believes Fujita committed conduct detrimental to the league by failing to do anything to stop the bounty program while playing for the Saints. But in a statement released today, Fujita said it’s Goodell who has hurt the NFL with his actions.

“The Commissioner says he is disappointed in me,” Fujita wrote in his statement. “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’.”

Fujita also said he doesn’t believe Goodell cares about the players’ health as much as he cares about the NFL’s bottom line, noting, “For me, the issue of player health & safety is personal. For the league and the Commissioner, it’s about perception & liability.”

The league’s statement about the bounty case, and the reduction of Fujita’s suspension, suggests that the NFL doesn’t think it has strong evidence that Fujita was an active participant in the bounty program. But the NFL does say that Fujita went along with it — which Fujita says is a phony reason to suspend him.

“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,” Fujita said. “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. 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.”

Fujita still believes he should be recognized as a leading advocate for player safety.

“My track record on the issue of player health & safety speaks for itself,” Fujita wrote. “And clearly, as I just listed, the Commissioner’s does too.”

108 responses to “Fujita: Goodell’s the one committing conduct detrimental to the NFL

  1. I don’t know if Fugita personally wrote that first paragraph in quotes. But if he did, he smashed the commissioner. My complements

  2. For the love of…… Look. Here is a hard truth everybody. Ready? Your company, with all their safety regulations, could not care less about you! Oh they post materials and preach about safety, but in the end it is all about money and accountability…..now I know that isn’t news to you fair reader, but Scotty is oblivious. Poor Scotty..poor dumb Scotty.

  3. Now, don’t y’all Goodell suporters think that if they were guilty that Fujita would just take his one game and run. Only an innocent person would still be fighting it.

  4. Be careful, Scott. Goodell will now claim to have grounds to suspend you again for “not playing nice in the sandbox”.

  5. You’re both causing detrimental damage to the league by continuing to go on and on and on about this stupid topic. Both of you just shut up and call it a day. NEXT TOPIC.

  6. Me thinks Fujita better adjust his meds or quit the steroids his ego is getting ridiculously out of control.

  7. Man, I’m a packer fan, and between their whining and the whining of these losers who should just shut up and take their rightful punishment, I’m beginning to think they should change it from NFL to national little baby league.

  8. Strong words, but likely accurate words. For better or worse, Fujita has shown some serious brass by challenging Goodell. I hope old Roger has more altruistic reasons than the bottom line…

  9. Gotta love these “statements” by Fujita and Vilma etc., I’m surprised they can even read the statements that their high-priced lawyers wrote for them. Fujita, Vilma etc. have cried “wolf” enough times in hopes that public opinion may be swayed but they don’t understand that no one outside of Nawlins doesn’t believe a word of their b.s. and have actually tired of even hearing them in the news.

  10. Someone tell fujita it isnt a full season of thursday games.

    There are no thursday games weeks 16 & 17.

  11. I’m not a Goodell hater, but I can’t really disagree with Fujita’s position here. Goodell is wanting to have it both ways here.

  12. It’s sad that these players are anything but millionaire gladiators who deny everything until they are caught red handed. Fujita may believe in player safety but his actions to go along with the bounty program speakers volume of his character and dishonesty.

    Fujita must not own a business cuz if he did, he would know that it’s all about the bottom line and liability. Look at the ex players who don’t exhibit any concussion symptoms but have joined the band wagon of suing the league, just to get more money. Pathetic.

  13. So if he is being punished for “going along” with the bounty program, why wasn’t every player on the 2009 roster suspended? That doesn’t make any sense, and I don’t even care about this story.

  14. Fujita might have a point, but of all the people suspended he comes off as the most smug and unlikable. I don’t feel sorry for him at all.

  15. You know, he’s got a point re: Goodell. Not sure it squares with the bounty program in New Orleans – and if player safety was as big a deal to him has he claims, he would have spoken up, too.

    However, Goodell’s actions have not been consistent with his words. An 18 game season and regular Thursday night games are entirely at odds with player safety concerns.

    If nothing else comes out of this whole fiasco (save for the necessary and well-deserved banishment of Greg Williams), perhaps this will force the leage to put its money where its mouth is vis a vis player safety.

  16. for the best interest of the nfl, roger goodell needs to announce his resignation as nfl commissioner effective immediately. His tenure as commissioner has been an embarrassment and a disgrace.

  17. To sum it up, when Goodell informed Fujita of his suspension, Fujita replied, “nuh unh, you’re the one suspended, Mr. Poopy-pants.”

  18. Fujita is a class act. always has been. he isn’t lying about being very vocal about player safety and how goodell has not. fellow players have been clear about how much respect they have for Fujita.
    It is amazing how Goodell has twisted this in so many ways to make a person guilty of anything he’d like in spite of evidence.
    I think this is the kind of bias, questionable behavior from the head office that the saints players, staff and fans have been screaming about this whole time.
    Free Payton.

  19. Whether one agrees with Fujita or not, he’s a very intelligent person and because of that he may do more to counter what Goodell’s done on this score than any of the other players.

  20. Surprised Goodell didn’t burn the bounty evidence. He didn’t seem to have a problem doing that after the Pats won 3 super bowls cheating.

  21. Yeah! Goodell’s not the boss of me!

    (Even though everyone knows he is- even you Scott. C’mon admit- he’s the boss of you. Don’t fight it. C’mon…. There. That wasn’t so hard was it?)

  22. @sledgehorn Obviously you don’t realize the difference in 7 days recovery time versus 4, especially early in the season when players are still getting into Football shape.

  23. Well if coaches and players get fined for criticizing the officiating, it will interesting to see how Goodell reacts to a player openly questioning his credibility as commish.

    On a side note, does anyone really like Goodell? I don’t remember this much hostility from anyone towards Paul Tagliabue.

  24. rolltide510 says:
    Oct 10, 2012 1:13 PM
    Fujita might have a point, but of all the people suspended he comes off as the most smug and unlikable. I don’t feel sorry for him at all.
    ———–
    If this were a popularity contest your comment might mean something. Let’s let him miss a game without pay because his personality isn’t agreeable to you. That’s the kind of judgmental mentality that has created this mess. As more information slowly trickles out Goodell looks more desperate and vindictive.

  25. Folks just ask yourself did we have all these problem with the prior two commissioners? You know the answer to that. Goodell has to go, he has burned way too many bridges to have any credibility with anyone in the NFL now.

  26. Only a matter of minutes before Drew Brees starts his whining and crying on twitter……………………………..

  27. Hey Fujita, it’s players like you that’s ruinning the game. Shut up, take your punishment like a real man would and stay out of it. Personally, I would like it if someone put a bounty on your head, just to see what you think about it.

  28. thejuddstir says:
    Oct 10, 2012 1:03 PM
    … no one outside of Nawlins doesn’t believe a word of their b.s. and have actually tired of even hearing them in the news.

    ==================================

    Check the tag names in the blogs – pretty sure that the people commenting pro player live some other places as well. But hey keep saying it – it may become true if you repeat it over and over, worked for Rog.

    On a different note, as a Saints fan, it is clear to me that something happened and there should be penalties. I personally believe the punishment is too severe (Vilma and Smith are done anyway so on the field help isn’t the basis of my thought). I am having a ton of trouble finding the difference between verbiage such as John Deere Tractor vs. Gator Truck vs. Hot Sauce vs. Hit the concussed guy, etc. All or most of these have occurred since this fiasco began. If Tenn/NYJ, etc are willing to say these things publicly in the midst of this fiasco then God knows what was being said in the meeting rooms across the 32 cities that house NFL franchises. I am also struggling with the fact that the commissioner totally trust the credibility of a guy that has continued to “lie” even after he left the team.

    But in the grand scheme of things let’s play ball. Anyone have a good pass rusher that they are willing to trade?

  29. Anyone that disagrees with what Fujita is saying here please back it up with some facts. There has been zero proof that he was involved in any aspect of the so called bounties and he is claimed his innocence from the start. You people that just want him to go away or shut up don’t understand what you are talking about so you are the ones that should remain silent. Understand the facts and then add something of value to the conversation

  30. Since someone asked, the problem with the Thursday night schedule is that Goodell is forcing two teams to play 4 games in 17 games.

    That can’t POSSIBLY be good for a player’s health.

    But it does make the league lots of extra money.

  31. Pretty much all of those things that Fujita said about Goodell are true…but the fact of the matter is that none of that changes the reality that he is guilty as charged in the bounty scandal. Like others have said, he should accept his punishment like a man and let the NFL players who actually have some credibility go after Goodell for those things. Coming from him, they hold no weight as true as they may be.

  32. Roger takes all the heat. Roger works for the nfl not the nflpa not the nflra. Every single thing he does is exactly what the 32 nfl owners want. Instead of blaming roger why don’t we look at the source behind the puppet. The nfl owners are doing all of this stuff. All of it. Roger is paid to be this ‘bad’ guy. It’s no different then if an attorney is assigned to a murderer as a public defender. It’s his job to defend the client tooth and nail or he could be disbarred. ( ie Jerry sanduskys attorney, more sleaze for taking it but still had to do his job (no shame) )

    Conduct detrimental falls solely on the owners. The last two years seems like a scripted reality show rather than a pro sport.

  33. It is a huge issue to play on 4 days rest instead of seven. Frankly as enjoyable as having a game to look forward to during the week is, I miss having all games on Sunday and Monday with Saturday games after CFB season ends in December. Also , when Goodell kept saying a year or two ago that he’d listened to the fans and the fans said they wanted less preseason and more regular season he was half true. None of my many die hard nfl fan friends want to have more than 16 games and most of us feel the 16 game season is a bit of a marathon as it is. One less preseason game would be nice. Goodell is a joke of a commissioner. I run my fantasy league w more integrity and honesty than he does.

  34. The players should have collectively bargained against Roger Goodell’s power. They had their chance and chose money over power.

    I’m sick of the whining about the commissioner having too much on player suspensions the players had their chance and blew it.

  35. Excellent response by Fujita! He speaks for me as well. Goodell is a complete hypocrite.

    Goodell is the one who is going to get the booing of the century the next time he steps foot in front of NFL fans. And he thought he got treated rudely at LAST year’s draft. Can you imagine how he’s going to get treated by fans when he steps out to present the Lombardi trophy? Goodell’s reputation is ruined with many fans as well as with many players. He’s going to be embarrassed at every public venue at which fans are present for at least many years to come based on how he’s acted over the past two years.

  36. If Fujita is being punished for going along with the bounty program but not participating; then every member of the Saints defense deserves similar punishment. If there is no evidence that Fujita participated then he should not be punished. The commissioner is not being consistent and his actions are adding to this muddled mess.

  37. phillyphever says:
    Oct 10, 2012 1:50 PM
    Hey Fujita, it’s players like you that’s ruinning the game. Shut up, take your punishment like a real man would and stay out of it. Personally, I would like it if someone put a bounty on your head, just to see what you think about it.

    ====================================

    A real man fights for his innocence and reputation.

    Why doesn’t it surprise me that you wouldn’t know how a real man behaves?

  38. when are you people going to realize goodell is paid by the owners and he does what they want, the bottom line affects the owners not goodell he gets his money either way if the owners said let it go then he wouldnt have went back after the players for the suspensions

  39. I’m voting for Fujita in November…..finally someone who’s articulate, has common sense, and owns a set.

    For the dude asking about the impact of Thursday night games — I only played small college ball and I know I was sore for days after a game. I can only imagine how long it takes for guys playing at the speed and intensity of the NFL to recover. Having only 3 days, has to increase the chance of injury.

  40. “Fujita also said he doesn’t believe Goodell cares about the players’ health as much as he cares about the NFL’s bottom line.”

    What were you expecting? Is his job to babysit and look out for the best interests of the players? No, of course it isn’t. His job is to make the NFL money and make their product shine. You players have your union to look out for you guys.

  41. You know we will never know even 90% of everything involved in this situation. I find it interesting that most people side with the players. Why. There was a child molester sentenced yesterday that still claims he is innocence yet I bet no one believes he is innocent. I will be the first to admit and maybe the only one to admit that I have no idea what happened but I am sure the every bodies villain would not be doing this if he didn’t know something happened. So go ahead and pick sides. At least I admit I have no clue and don’t pick side based on my lack of knowledge. Compared to those out there that pick a side I guess based on their lack of knowledge.

  42. If he participated in the bounty system, he should be suspended period. This is a bit about blaming the messenger and not accepting the consequences for his own actions. RD makes mistakes. But this is about Fujita and not Goodell.

  43. His words are just dust in the wind. At the end of the day, Fujita is still suspended and Goodell is still the Commissioner. He needs to talk to his own players association about why they agreed to Thursday night games and an 18 game schedule.

  44. mwatts1 says: Oct 10, 2012 2:39 PM

    You do the crime you do the time. PERIOD! Stop crying and do you time like a man….
    —————–

    You can apparently type but do you know how to read? Fujita didn’t “do the crime”.

    This is the problem with the internet. It gives a voice to people who should just shut up.

  45. 2manyconcussions says:
    Oct 10, 2012 3:12 PM
    His words are just dust in the wind. At the end of the day, Fujita is still suspended and Goodell is still the Commissioner. He needs to talk to his own players association about why they agreed to Thursday night games and an 18 game schedule.

    ====================================

    They didn’t agree to an 18 game schedule. The main reason that they caved to these ridiculous concessions was to avoid that.

    While I agree that they conceded way too much power to RG, it doesn’t give the commissioner the right to violate the agreement, which it’s been proven that he has.

  46. This is the same player who said over the summer “They can’t prove anything”, which is considerably different that “I’m innocent”.

    If the Saints truly did not commit any of the bounty allegations, they would be the first team in history.

    Very tired of players complaing about the contract they signed. If you voted to ratify, you cede your right to complain, or at least your credibility if you do.

  47. @vngnce

    please show me where fajita said this. this is an outright lie and he never said anything close to that. Also, he is only suspended for 1 game. if he was really guilty, do you think he would still fight this tooth and nail? A guilty person would take the 1 game suspension and be done with it.

  48. Wasn’t Fujita a defensive captain when in New Orleans. Would not that put him in a more responsible position for the acts of the defense?

  49. Alright, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Now, let me say first that I am a person of color. So, it does seem like the white guy got off pretty easy. Now, that my attempt at humor is over let’s deal with the real issue here. If you punished Scott for not stoping the program then you’d better punish every defensive player on the team during that time period. Another issue I have with this it why suspend the man at all. If he wasn’t actually doing anything then it’s wrong to punish him at all

  50. I hope he gets the 2 games added back on. He is like a child who complains even when he gets his way. Shut up and take your punishment. I would like to see anywhere else, where you can all out insult your Boss in the media and get away with it. All you people making excuses for them, should try this crap at your job. I’m in the UAW which is waaay bigger then his union. If I said any of that crap, security would pack my stuff up so fast and escort my butt of the property. Shameful, greedy millionaires.

  51. richc111 says:
    Oct 10, 2012 2:55 PM
    You know we will never know even 90% of everything involved in this situation. I find it interesting that most people side with the players. Why. There was a child molester sentenced yesterday that still claims he is innocence yet I bet no one believes he is innocent. I will be the first to admit and maybe the only one to admit that I have no idea what happened but I am sure the every bodies villain would not be doing this if he didn’t know something happened. So go ahead and pick sides. At least I admit I have no clue and don’t pick side based on my lack of knowledge. Compared to those out there that pick a side I guess based on their lack of knowledge.
    ————————————————–
    That is an awful lot of typing to say absolutely nothing!

  52. These comments about GODell come as no surprise to me. there isn’t a major company out there that cares about anything but the bottom line. Don’t do the wrong thing, don’t say the wrong thing, don’t act the wrong way. Don’t do anything at all that may draw negative attention to the company and either chase away customers, or shareholders. Don’t do anything that may cause you issue, so that you could sue the company. Thank you for everything you do everyday to make our company great. Now here is your 2% raise….while the CEO’s take home millions is bonuses. It’s all money folks, nothing but money.

  53. I still have a problem with the evidence.
    This “ledger” that was produced after the appeals hearing where this federal prosecutor stated that she stood behind all of the evidence is somewhat a problem here. Listed on that “ledger” were the names of Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Joe Vitt. There were monetary amounts listed next to their names. This would suggest that the people listed funded the “pool” with this amount of money. Yet as soon as this was publised, Joe Vitt vehemently denied contributing a cent. Scott Fujita has said all along that he did not contribute. Roger Goodell immediately said that the ledger was not used to punish Joe Vitt because the information could not be substantiated. So that means that on this ledger that a anonymous source gave to the NFL, there were two very concrete incidences that the ledger was inaccurate, because Roger Goodell has since determined that Fujita did not contribute to the pool.
    This evidence has become another one of the very problems of the evidence that Goodell has used to punish these players. If two amounts are inaccurate or cannot be verified, how can the rest of the “ledger” be used to determine punishment?
    PS. Fujita you rock!

  54. Yep, your coach admits to it…..Payton, is serving his suspension, his ex DC is banned for life……both not fighting it……yep,
    nothing to see here!
    Fujita and Brees play a semantics game…..play with words.

    IF YOU AND YOUR TEAM ARE GUILTLESS, WHY THE COACHES ADMISSION?

    Goodell doing a great job keeping jokers like Fujita in line.

  55. I agree with Fujita as of this posting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t been in favor of having a neurologist present at NFL games. When a player is injured, an assistant trainer is required to check the player for any neurological complications. This is a procedure put forth by the league under Goodell despite such assistant trainers being unqualified and without any training in neurology to perform such tasks. That the NFL will not even permit a neurologist to be standing by at games – at minimal expense, shows the level of incompetence.

  56. Fans amaze me. When the players were locked out, fans screamed hurry up and get back to playing football, just sign the damn contracts.

    Then when players came back and they complained about Goodell having all of the power when it comes to appeals, fans scream” Hey you signed the damn contracts, it’s your own fault”

    Then fans scream, I want my old time football back. I want bone crushing hits. Then when one of their players is injured or hurt from a hit, they scream, (insert team you hate most) is dirty.

    The NFL locked out the refs, and fans screamed, “Keep them out, they don’t deserve that kind of money” Then after a few bad games from replacement refs, fans screamed “We want the regular refs back.!!”

    Now fans are yelling that the replacement refs were better, because they allowed players to hit.

    Harrison is Dirty, Lewis is Dirty, Vilma is Dirty, all of these players are dirty, because they don’t play on your team. But eventually when your star defender gets that late hit or H2H penalty, you will be screaming that Goodell has too much power, and is fining too much, and is penalizing every hit, without regard to intent.

    When a player is accused of something and doesn’t fight it, people scream, “If he were truly innocent, he wouldn’t have gave in.” But now the Saints players are fighting this to the end, and people are screaming, “Just go away, we are sick of hearing about you.”

    See any sort of pattern here?

  57. Fajita has been challenging Goodell from the start and hasn’t gotten anywhere. But yet, he’s now being suspended for not challenging his coach. Goodell is intentionally injuring players over nothing. The NFL would be better off if he suspended himself.

  58. I want Goodell gone as much as anyone else, but it ain’t gonna happen. Not yet.

    The owners will throw him under the bus when the concussion lawsuits threaten to decimate the league.

    The Saints are Goodell’s sacrifice play. Goodell is the owners’ sacrifice play.

  59. It was only a matter of time before Goodell’s role as judge, jury, and executioner backfired bigtime. This may be that time. I think Scott is right. What the hell is he supposed to do in this situation? This is on the coaches.

  60. “…news at this hour that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended linebacker Scott Fujita an extra four games for “using big words”, and another five games for “hurting my feelings”. We will have more on this story as it unfolds.”

  61. I don’t get it, why all the love for a cheater.
    Cheaters love cheaters.
    This guy cheats, runs his mouth and runs down my favorite game. I wish the commish would just ban him indefinitely and lets all move on.
    Its now all about mojito man.

  62. phillyphever says:
    Oct 10, 2012 1:50 PM
    Hey Fujita, it’s players like you that’s ruinning the game. Shut up, take your punishment like a real man would and stay out of it. Personally, I would like it if someone put a bounty on your head, just to see what you think about it.

    —–

    Really?!? I mean really????? Goodell SAID he didn’t have ANYTHING to do w/ the so called bounty program…but needs to be punished for NOT being a whistleblower basically!!! Why should he be punished at all, dude?!? Put a bounty on his head…how about YOU putting functioning brain cells IN your head! Btw…it’s RUINING…not ruinning! Speaking of brain cells you obviously lack…

  63. Goodell cares about the saftey of the players………just look at all the new debilitating penalites and rules hes issued in past few years…….he loves ruining the game….my favorite was the extra 5 yards on kickoff

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