Last week, the NFL inexplicably outed former Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy as the original bounty whistleblower in a memo to all teams that was later posted on a league-owned website.
Kennedy isn’t happy. From disputing the league’s contentions on Twitter to submitting a sworn declaration in federal court, Kennedy consistently has said that he didn’t tell anyone about a bounty program and that the NFL never interviewed him about the situation.
Most recently, the NFLPA has issued on Kennedy’s behalf a scathing statement that accuses Commissioner Roger Goodell of three separate lies.
“Roger Goodell identifies me as the whistleblower who approached former Viking coach Brad Childress about an alleged bounty on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game,” Kennedy says. “That is a lie. I had no knowledge about any alleged bounty to reveal to anyone, and I never informed anyone that I did. . . .
“Roger Goodell also states that I was interviewed by the NFL about the alleged bounty. That is another lie; I was never interviewed by the NFL, unless the NFL considers two 30-second conversations when I told NFL Security that I had no knowledge of any such allegations interviews. I certainly do not. . . .
“The third lie that Roger Goodell told about me is perhaps the most upsetting because it involves a man for whom I have great respect and affection, Anthony Hargrove. The NFL states that Anthony Hargrove told me about the alleged bounty on Brett Favre. That is an utter lie; it simply never happened. I never discussed an alleged bounty with Anthony Hargrove before, during or after the NFC Championship game.”
Given the aggressive manner in which Kennedy has responded to the league’s decision to claim that he was the one who got this whole thing started in early 2010, there’s a good chance Kennedy eventually will be joining the parade of civil actions that the bounty fiasco has spawned. The last line of his statement suggests that a lawsuit is coming: “I am not one of the players who has been officially disciplined by the NFL as part of this sham, but I now know that I too have been damaged by the NFL’s complete disregard for truth and integrity.”