The NFL Players’ Association says former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made the right call in rescinding the suspensions of four players in the Saints’ bounty case, and the union is happy for Scott Fujita, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Jonathan Vilma.
In a statement released shortly after Tagliabue ruled that the four players couldn’t be suspended, the NFLPA expressed vindication.
“We believe that when a fair due process takes place, a fair outcome is the result,” the statement said. “We are pleased that Paul Tagliabue, as the appointed hearings officer, agreed with the NFL Players Association that previously issued discipline was inappropriate in the matter of the alleged New Orleans Saints bounty program. Vacating all discipline affirms the players’ unwavering position that all allegations the League made about their alleged ‘intent-to-injure’ were utterly and completely false. We are happy for our members.”
In other words, while the league may be spinning this as some kind of victory for its side, the union says the real victory lies with the players.