|Kennedy denies he had any involvement in blowing the whistle on the Bountygate program. (US Presswire)|
One of the minor, but explosive storylines surrounding the Saints bounty program epic is about the identity of the person or persons who alerted the NFL about the alleged program.
You'll recall that Warren Sapp said it was Jeremy Shockey -- which turned out not to be true in the slightest -- and later, former Saints defensive quality control coach Mike Cerullo was identified as the whistleblower (the NFL confirmed that).
Also, the league said former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy was the one who alerted then-Vikings coach Brad Childress that the Saints had placed a bounty on Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre in the 2009 playoffs.
“In subsequent discussions, Coach Childress said that a Vikings player, Jimmy Kennedy, had told him that the Saints defensive unit had offered a $10,000 bounty on Mr. Favre and that Mr. Kennedy had identified Anthony Hargrove, then a defensive player for the Saints, as the source of his information,” the league said in a memo distributed to teams earlier this month.
Now, Kennedy is firing back against the league. On Friday morning, the NFLPA released a statement from Kennedy. Here it is in its entirety:
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.
Kennedy currently is a free agent.
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