Fujita’s Statement towards Goodell
I’m pleased the Commissioner has finally acknowledged that I never participated in any so-called “bounty” program, as I’ve said for the past 7 months. However, the condescending tone used in his redetermination letter was neither respectful nor productive. Additionally, I am now purportedly being suspended for failing to confront my former defensive coordinator for his inappropriate use of language. This seems like an extremely desperate attempt to punish me. I also think it sets a dangerous precedent when players can be disciplined for not challenging the behavior of their superiors. This is an absolute abuse of the power that’s been afforded to the Commissioner.
For me, the issue of player health & safety is personal. For the league and the Commissioner, it’s about perception & liability.
The Commissioner says he is disappointed in me. The truth is, I’m disappointed in him. His positions on player health and safety since a 2009 congressional hearing on concussions have been inconsistent at best. He failed to acknowledge a link between concussions & post-career brain disease, pushed for an 18-game regular season, committed to a full season of Thursday night games, has continually challenged players’ rights to file workers compensation claims for on-the-job injuries, and he employed incompetent replacement officials for the start of the 2012 season. His actions or lack thereof are by the league’s own definition, “conduct detrimental”.
My track record on the issue of player health & safety speaks for itself. And clearly, as I just listed, the Commissioner’s does too.