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Jimmy Kennedy unloads on NFL, Goodell

jimmy-kennedy Getty Images

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.”

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58 Responses to “Jimmy Kennedy unloads on NFL, Goodell”
  1. sdisme says: Oct 19, 2012 11:30 AM

    Cue the people who never read the CBA stating:

    If the players didn’t want Goodell lying they should have negotiated that fact in the CBA.

  2. eaglesw00t says: Oct 19, 2012 11:31 AM

    Yeah…and nobody has ever lied in court before either.

    Im not saying he isnt telling the truth…but its just as likely to believe that he is lying about everything as it is Goodell lying about him.

  3. vbe2 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:32 AM

    Children always lash out at authority figures.

  4. goodellgate says: Oct 19, 2012 11:32 AM

    Roger Goodell* lying ?? Again ?? That’s another shocker.

  5. addmack24 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:36 AM

    It keeps getting better and better, the NFL’s whole case is falling apart, not that it ever held any ground in the first place. It has all been a smear campaign from the beginning.

  6. coltzfan166 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:36 AM

    Any chance Kennedy is the one lying here?

  7. tommysaint1 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:37 AM

    Not a good day if you are a red headed commissioner of a billion dollar company. At least you have options…
    1. Admit this is a sham and a witch hunt and retire with dignity
    2. Keep quiet and slowly slip out the door like we expect to happen.
    –Que the Steam hit “Kiss him Goodbye”—

  8. thisdj84 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:38 AM

    Crazy thing about this whole scandal is that one of the sides is a HUGE lier! I tend to lean toward the players as the liers but i could be totally wrong.

  9. riverhorsey says: Oct 19, 2012 11:39 AM

    We shall see.

  10. jhorton83 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:41 AM

    Goodell just keeps digging himself in deeper. Give it up already. This is going to drag on and on and on forever just because Goodell wants to be able to say he’s “won” on this, even though he’ll likely end up losing in the end. It’s ego and stubbornness.

  11. orangebluedonkey says: Oct 19, 2012 11:44 AM

    Goodell should probably step down no matter what happens in this mess. He is not liked by the fans, just listen to the boos he gets on draft day. He is not repected by the players. He is and always be a lawyer.

  12. 8to80texansblog says: Oct 19, 2012 11:46 AM

    Lance Armstrong says you need to be more agressive and assertive in your denials. Intensity is the key to believability.

  13. wryly1 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:46 AM

    Too many fans overlook that the NFL, first and foremost, is a multibillion dollar BUSINESS, who club owners have a multibillion dollar brand and image to protect.

    Commisioner Goodell works for THEM and serves at THEIR pleasure. To suggest he’s making it up as he goes – or is doing anything different than what is expected of him by the owners is patently absurd.

    Do you hear owners objecting to what he’s doing? Duuh!

    Does the brainpower and wisdom of the NFL reside among disgruntled players??? Not!!!

  14. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 19, 2012 11:49 AM

    Could this be the undoing of Roger Goodell aka Roger Gotohell.

  15. vikings28 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:51 AM

    I think he is saying this now because he wants to be in the NFL. If he comes across as a whistle blower, then no team will trust him. Jimmy could have done this a long time ago, but never did, so that says something.

  16. thelastpieceofcheese says: Oct 19, 2012 11:52 AM

    Like Clinton deny, deny, deny.

  17. moagecu says: Oct 19, 2012 11:53 AM

    coming from a guy that was suspended for 4 games last year

  18. motobus says: Oct 19, 2012 11:53 AM

    “…unless the NFL considers two 30-second conversations when I told NFL Security that I had no knowledge of any such allegations “interviews”

    Did he run into NFL security on the street or something? How can you not consider this an interview, regardless of the brevity?

  19. vikings28 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:53 AM

    People say Goodell is lying. My question is this……what is he gaining? I don’t see him gaining anything out of this. If he wins, nothing changes for the man, there is no incentive to lie about it. The players on the other hand, well, they have a lot of money to lose. I mean the head coach and the owner aren’t even fighting it……that says a lot right there.

  20. chargerdillon says: Oct 19, 2012 11:54 AM

    Am I the only one who sees this whole sham as a way to deflect from the bigger issue which is HGH and focus on a part of the game that’s existed for ever.

    Defensive players are paid to hit guys, they take bounties from every owner in the NFL.

    The fact that Roger is pointing every direction and the players are pointing every direction with all these so-called punishments seemingly going away or reduced it seems it’s more about the Saints taking a hit for the rest of the league over real issues like HGH testing.

  21. daknight93 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:55 AM

    Goodell has no integrity…integrity by commissioner should’ve been included with the new CBA and signed off

  22. denverscott says: Oct 19, 2012 11:56 AM

    No different than the “Thin blue line” that cops hide behind. Stick together and file a ton of frivolous lawsuits to divert attention and bore the public into submission.

  23. SeenThisB4 says: Oct 19, 2012 12:01 PM

    You don’t hear any of the owners giving him an “at-a-boy” either.

  24. hayesj85 says: Oct 19, 2012 12:04 PM

    Not that I trust Goodell. But to me, this just comes off as a guy at the end of the line in his career desperate to save his reputation. If he is the one that ratted out the Saints, he knows the chances of him player are over, finito. Goodell would NOT put his neck this far out on the chopping block without substantiated statements and evidence. I can guarantee you all suspensions/punishments will stand.

  25. geniusfan says: Oct 19, 2012 12:05 PM

    “Cue the people who never read the CBA stating:

    If the players didn’t want Goodell lying they should have negotiated that fact in the CBA.”

    Yup. I’ll say it again and again and again. The players had their chance to take Goodell’s power away, they decided that money was more important.

    I don’t like Roger Goodell’s handling of this case I think what the Saints did is relatively tame. However I don’t feel bad for them at all because they made a choice to continue to live under Goodell’s iron fist. Let’s just call a spade a spade.

    The players are going to have to deal with this until after the 2020 league year. Hopefully they smarten up by then and get their priorities straight.

  26. sbc85 says: Oct 19, 2012 12:06 PM

    “vikings28 says:Oct 19, 2012 11:53 AM

    People say Goodell is lying. My question is this……what is he gaining?”

    —-
    What is it about the NFL’s liability in concussion lawsuits that people don’t understand? The NFL stands to gain leverage in showing they care about player safety by levying the biggest suspensions in NFL history against a team they say tried to intentionally hurt players.

    Goodell/the NFL wants to establish a basis for the defense that they care about player safety and have punished those who put it in peril.

    The problem is their investigation was shoddy, their evidence weak, and they apparently expected people to just “take their word for it.” A lot of commenters here on PFT are a good example of why they think people would do just that.

    Another problem is, as Fujita pointed out, hypocrisy regarding pushing 18-game seasons, weekly Thursday night games, replacement refs, etc.

    And don’t get me started on the fact that they ignore when other teams talk about “putting hot sauce” on a player’s leg or targeting Kyle Williams because of his concussion histories.

    Or ignore when former Redskins players say they had they exact same program when Williams was in Washington.

    They have their scapegoat to use in the concussion lawsuit defense, and that’s all they wanted.

  27. toonloonboon says: Oct 19, 2012 12:08 PM

    wryly1 says:
    Oct 19, 2012 11:46 AM
    Too many fans overlook that the NFL, first and foremost, is a multibillion dollar BUSINESS, who club owners have a multibillion dollar brand and image to protect.

    Commisioner Goodell works for THEM and serves at THEIR pleasure. To suggest he’s making it up as he goes – or is doing anything different than what is expected of him by the owners is patently absurd.

    ——————
    lol, yes us fans overlook that its a multi billion dollar business. excuse me, capitals: BUSINESS. We also ignore burning buildings, elephants walking down the street, and talking giraffes.

    yes goodell works for me and my pleasure. yeah, because that’s tangible and relevant to anything.

    it’s “patently” absurd. patently. a notion that some people might have is not even allowed to be in consideration says this guy. because its ubsurd. no, its patently ubsurd. there has been a patent passed on such statements like this one.

  28. skolvikes says: Oct 19, 2012 12:10 PM

    sdisme says: Oct 19, 2012 11:30 AM

    Cue the people who never read the CBA stating:

    If the players didn’t want Goodell lying they should have negotiated that fact in the CBA.

    ——————————————————-

    Cue Sdisme who never read the CBA stating:

    The commissioner will be fair and unbiased.

    Let’s not forget that in the recent lockout, Goodell and the owner’s were adamant that the powers of the commissioner’s office were not up for negotiation, that was one thing the owner’s side deemed completely non negotiable.

  29. macktacktikye says: Oct 19, 2012 12:12 PM

    As is the case in many situations, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

  30. schmokes says: Oct 19, 2012 12:15 PM

    Yeah.

    I’m sure after randomly picking the saints for no reason, Godell then randomly chose Kennedy to be the snitch. The only thing angrier than a person being wrongly accused is a person that gets caught and called out for it.

  31. neauxgeaux44 says: Oct 19, 2012 12:16 PM

    Goddell is not a lawyer…people should do their homework before commenting that he is….he just acts like one…aka an idiot…

  32. nispikers says: Oct 19, 2012 12:22 PM

    vikings28 says:Oct 19, 2012 11:51 AM

    I think he is saying this now because he wants to be in the NFL. If he comes across as a whistle blower, then no team will trust him. Jimmy could have done this a long time ago, but never did, so that says something.
    ——————————————————-
    He did say so, from the very beginning of all of this. Even Anthony Hargrove said he didn’t tell him anything. Kennedy has stated that Hargrove never told him anything about a bounty and he never told the NFL or anyone else that Hargrove did so either.

  33. silentcount says: Oct 19, 2012 12:26 PM

    More proof that Goodell is not to be trusted. There is very little truth to his fabricated accusations against the Saints. It was all a sham to deceive the gullible into thinking he’s all about safety, instead of causing more concussions with his 18 game schedule. His only supporters are desperate fans who want their team to have a better chance of beating a wounded Saints team. How pathetic these people are.

  34. hiperactivodg says: Oct 19, 2012 12:33 PM

    This bounty fiasco will be the fall of Goodell…

  35. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Oct 19, 2012 12:37 PM

    who cares what “malibu’s most wanted” thinks?

  36. notthathand says: Oct 19, 2012 12:39 PM

    Never liked Gregg Williams’ D because even on TV you could see a general chippiness and cultivation of cheap shots no matter where he went. And after the MIN championship game, I thought the Saints deserved what they got.

    Now, with this, I’m beginning to wonder why

    1) Goodell doesn’t lay more cards on the table.

    2) if the players are innocent, did Williams and Payton (and, by extension, Benson) take their suspensions with nowhere near as much fight as the players are giving

    3) the above aren’t least somehow publicly or privately (which would surely become public) backing up the players’ claims.

    Something doesn’t smell right all the way around.

  37. santolonius says: Oct 19, 2012 12:41 PM

    it seems to me that what ought to happen is this..
    a) players from all 32 teams should in a very public way (a mass series of player-called press conferences in all 32 cities) reach out to their individuals owners to please intervene against goodell in the bounty case.
    b) players should while doing so say they have heard the league’s message loud and clear about bounties and personally to a man promise they will never have anything to do with bounties going forward and they understand the league needed to bring a culture change which has now happened.
    c) at that point at least 17 owners hopefully have sense enough to seek an end to this spectacle.
    d) the 17+ owners use the players’ mass pledge as cover to tell goodell to drop the saints bounty case and any others that may have happened in the past with a warning. the owners call it a show of good faith because they believe in their players.
    e) goodell uses the owners’ intervention and the players’ pledges as cover to say: “all bounty punishments for players who are suspended. we will hence forth not seek out instances of bounties in the past. but we will punish them going forward and everyone knows we are serious about player safety.” (coaches’ suspensions can be reduced if not fully waived.)
    f) the key is that everyone has cover. and this all goes away.

  38. asseenonokra says: Oct 19, 2012 12:42 PM

    wryly1 says:
    Oct 19, 2012 11:46 AM

    Commisioner Goodell works for THEM and serves at THEIR pleasure. To suggest he’s making it up as he goes – or is doing anything different than what is expected of him by the owners is patently absurd.

    Do you hear owners objecting to what he’s doing? Duuh!

    —————————

    you make a good point. However, if the owners objected, do you think they would blab to the media or handle it in a private meeting?

  39. danetow says: Oct 19, 2012 1:01 PM

    Come on people. This is the NFL were talking about here. If there was a meeting between the two parties you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a record of it. These players throw out statements basically calling the NFL idiots but news flash, there is a reason that those guys are the players bosses. Mostly due to the fact that they are smarter. I think its safe to say the NFL made sure their butts are covered.

  40. jpmelon says: Oct 19, 2012 1:06 PM

    yes, those two conversations you had with the NFL are the ones they referred to in the memo.

    The memo never said you agreed with what Childress said. The memo said that Childress was the one who brought it up to the NFL and then the NFL spoke to you to ask about it.

    The original whistleblower is not the important one. The original whistleblower merely got the NFL to send a message to the Saints telling them to “stop the program if it does, in fact, exist”.

  41. leeweezy8 says: Oct 19, 2012 1:08 PM

    I see some people saying why is Sean Payton and Tom Benson being silent. I can see why SP is being silent. The coaches don’t have a union to back them. Any punishment the commissioner deals out to them, they have to take it. Would you fight if you career is in the hands of someone that could do what they wanted to do? If SP fought this thing, there is a possibility he would not be allowed back in the NFL by Roger Goodell. Am I right or wrong on that? As far as Benson is concerned, I can’t put my finger on the reason he would be silent in this situation. I mean, he is 1/32 of Roger Goodell’s boss! The only thing I can see of his silence is 1. the money that he is making is more important than a championship right now, 2. being 1/32 of RG boss is not enough because the other owners are voting for him to shut up and take it like a man, and 3. he just doesn’t care!

  42. fafaflunky says: Oct 19, 2012 1:15 PM

    give the skins and cowboys there money back..

  43. jwreck says: Oct 19, 2012 1:15 PM

    vbe2 says: Oct 19, 2012 11:32 AM

    Children always lash out at authority figures.
    ______
    Yeah but how often to authority figures screw children over on a whim, or drive indelible wedges between children and their communities?

  44. stew48 says: Oct 19, 2012 1:37 PM

    R. Goodell is indeed not an attorney, but has a degree in economics.

    There is not one single contract of any size, shape or construction that is outside the laws of the USA. This absolutely includes the CBA, which I have not, nor will I read. If, as many have indicated, the players agreed to give RG all the authority for everything, they have actually placed him in a position of trust. Therein lies the key; he must exercise more care in the execution of this position than is normally required. Just ask any banker; you will learn about trust situtions. And, this is probably why the good judge will have a lot to say before conclusion.

  45. herpeburp says: Oct 19, 2012 1:45 PM

    Jimmy Kennedy is lying. This entire 3 part statement is a lie. He is in fact the whistleblower.

  46. 7swag7 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:26 PM

    “vikings28 says:
    Oct 19, 2012 11:53 AM
    People say Goodell is lying. My question is this……what is he gaining? I don’t see him gaining anything out of this. If he wins, nothing changes for the man, there is no incentive to lie about it.”

    Dude, where have you been? The players have a class action suit against the league regarding head injuries. When it finally goes to court (years from now) the league wants to be able to introduce the bounty investigation as 1 of many pieces of evidence that points the finger back at the players, saying, ‘we didn’t hurt you, you hurt yourselves.’

  47. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Oct 19, 2012 2:53 PM

    geniusfan says: I’ll say it again and again and again. The players had their chance to take Goodell’s power away, they decided that money was more important.

    You’ll be either incorrect or lying again and again.

    But since you know all about this, how much money did the players get in return for Goodell’s power?

    That’s a rhetorical question. Anyone that followed the lockout knows there was no economic ties to the continuation of Goodell’s power as sole disciplinarian, which is something the NFLPA gave Goodell back in 2007 without asking anything in return.

  48. briggsisbrokeagain says: Oct 19, 2012 3:08 PM

    So investigators who have no reason to have a problem with Kennedy say he blew the whistle on this case, why should I now believe Kennedy? They didn’t just pick his name out of a hat, he told the investigators something. He doesn’t want to be a rat and has no choice but to deny, sorry, but I don’t buy it.

  49. sb44champs says: Oct 19, 2012 3:20 PM

    “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.”
    ============================
    This is exactly why Goofdell should be CANNED!!

  50. saintcasey says: Oct 19, 2012 3:25 PM

    santolonius —

    You must be a PR expert! When I first started reading it, I thought you were a moron. But then I came to realize the plan is brilliant! You must be or work for a politician!!! Haha!!

  51. originalsteelcurtain says: Oct 19, 2012 3:26 PM

    The holes in Roger’s game are being exposed again and again.

    London football – detriment far outweighs benefit

    Pink October – total sell-out Roge

    Evolution of flag football…we watch it for the hard hits, moron!

    Ditto…Goodell must go!

  52. sb44champs says: Oct 19, 2012 3:27 PM

    briggsisbrokeagain says:
    Oct 19, 2012 3:08 PM
    So investigators who have no reason to have a problem with Kennedy say he blew the whistle on this case, why should I now believe Kennedy? They didn’t just pick his name out of a hat, he told the investigators something. He doesn’t want to be a rat and has no choice but to deny, sorry, but I don’t buy it.
    =========================
    Ok, so you don’t buy Goofdell’s factual hypocrisy with his desperate attempt to force an impossible-to-remain-healthy 18 game schedule down the players throats all the while maintaining that he truly cares about player safety??? And what about the Ravens being forced to play 4 games in like 17 days??? You obviously have your blinders on, lol!!!

  53. hawkforlife says: Oct 19, 2012 3:32 PM

    In this day and age is it seriously being suggested that all this; suspensions, trials, fines, etc., was done without either tape recordings of these interviews or witnesses and transcripts of these interviews. Seems a no-brainer if the League is telling the truth.

    If there is one, Kennedy better back track quick. If not Goodell ought to just slink away for good.

  54. realfann says: Oct 19, 2012 3:53 PM

    Goodell is not a lawyer and has not been trained as one.

    As much as I hate lawyers, I suspect if he had, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    He needs to resign. Seriously.

  55. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 19, 2012 5:58 PM

    For the people saying “Yeah sure the NFL randomly picked the Saints then Kennedy to bash, sure”.

    Your small mindedness is sickening. If you live by this definition then you surely have been taken advantage of many times in your life.

    The NFL didn’t pick names out of a hat, they seized upon hearsay and corroborated evidence with the intent to paint a picture that was grossly exaggerated. They needed to make a strong example of someone and the Saints had just enough for the NFL to show that they were trying to “Change the culture of the NFL”.

    The problem was they were too harsh with the penalties and they didn’t anticipate the amount of blowback they’ve received from the accused and some of the media.

    I commend PFT for actually doing due diligence to stick with this story when the “sports network” would rather talk about an aging baseball player trying to get a date.

  56. Legion Of Boom says: Oct 19, 2012 8:16 PM

    Actions always speak louder than words. If he brings a Defamation Suit to the party, he’d be vindicated. Otherwise, the truth is more likely somewhere in the middle.

  57. huskylawyer says: Oct 19, 2012 8:20 PM

    This is what happens when you let the guy who used to be in the mail room eventually become commissioner.

    At least lawyers understand due process.

  58. bangitfootball says: Oct 20, 2012 5:59 PM

    Goodell is a major screwup with a PC and ego hangup. Instead of giving all of them 8 game suspensions, reduced to 4 games (which they would happily agree to) after an appeal he turned this into a mini Warren Commission for football. Over prosecution.

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