Do you, like everyone else, want this bounty scandal in the NFL to go away? Well too bad; it’s going to be here forever!
The latest update is that Commissioner Roger Goodell reduced Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita’s three-game suspension to one, though one would have to assume that Fujita will appeal that ruling as well.
Goodell conceded that Fujita did not play a role in the alleged bounty program in New Orleans from 2009-2011, but he wrote in a letter that he was disappointed in Fujita for knowing about the program and doing nothing about it.
“I am surprised and disappointed by the fact that you, a former defensive captain and a passionate advocate for player safety, ignored such a program and permitted it to continue,” Goodell wrote. “You made clear to me that participation in the program was voluntary and that other players could have refused to participate, as you claim to have done. If you had spoken up, perhaps other players would have refused to participate and the consequences with which we are now dealing could have been avoided.” (Source: Cleveland.com)
As for Fujita’s former teammates who received suspensions, only Anthony Hargrove saw his reduced (from eight to seven games); Jonathan Vilma (the entire season) and Will Smith (four games) must still serve their original suspensions. The players have 72 hours to appeal the ruling.
So Goodell has admitted that there is no evidence of Fujita actually participating in the program, but he still chooses to suspend him because he didn’t do anything to stop it. That, of course, isn’t what the suspensions were about in the first place, but hey, what’s the NFL these days without a little bit of hypocrisy?