The credibility of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to take hits in the BountyGate saga.
Jimmy Kennedy released a statement through the NFLPA on Friday disputing Goodell's claim that Kennedy was a "whistleblower" for the league's case against the New Orleans Saints for their alleged bounty program.
The former New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman referred to three of Goodell's comments in a memo sent to all 32 NFL teams as "lies" in a harsh rebuke of the NFL Commissioner who re-issued suspensions for Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove last week.
The news was followed Friday by Goodell's announcement that he will not hear the next wave of appeals from the four suspended players. Instead, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will fill the role in Goodell's place on October 30.
The harsh tone of the statement again stirs growing doubts about the legitimacy of the NFL's case against the Saints for an alleged pay-to-injure incentive program.
Here is the statement:
"The Commissioner of the NFL recently distributed a memo to all 32 NFL teams regarding the alleged Saints bounty program that contained blatant lies about me, thereby adding me to the list of men whose reputations and character have been irreparably damaged by the shoddy, careless, shameful so-called investigation behind this sham proceeding. 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.
"That is a lie. I had no knowledge about any alleged bounty to reveal to anyone, and I never informed anyone that I did. Contrary to the false information disseminated by the NFL, Coach Childress approached me and asked me if I knew anything about such an allegation, and I told him the truth: I did not. I had no knowledge of any such alleged bounty.
"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.
"After the second phone call that I received from NFL, in which I once again told the person that I had absolutely no knowledge of any alleged bounty, I called my agent, who then retained an attorney for me. We informed the NFL Security person that further contact with me should occur through my attorney, and interestingly, we never heard from the NFL again.
"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. The only discussion I have had with Anthony about the alleged bounty occurred when we recently spoke about the NFL’s egregiously flawed and unjust investigation and proceeding.
"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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