|Linebacker Scott Fujita's three-game suspension was reduced to a one for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal. Fujita, who is in his first season with the Browns, is appealing the suspension, enabling him to play on Sunday. (AP)|
AlthoughBrowns linebacker Scott Fujita saw his suspension over the "Bountygate" scandal reduced this week from three games to one, he continued to blast NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for calling his morals into question.
It certainly did not help that Goodell wrote in his decision to reduce the punishment that he was “disappointed” such an advocate of player safety would allow the behavior in New Orleans.
Fujita's reply was swift and strong. He not only made it clear he was going to appeal the suspension, which will allow him to play Sunday against Cincinnati, but he also criticized Goodell for what he perceived as a “condescending" tone. And he had to think back to the last time anyone directed such words at him.
“I haven't had anyone say they were disappointed in me since I was 12 years old -- and that was my father,” he said on Wednesday.
Fujita again maintained there was no bounty program in New Orleans, that "cartoonish things" said by Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams were wrongly interpreted.
Added Fujita: “I'm pleased [Goodell] admitted there were some mistakes in the investigation and I wasn't involved in any of that.”
The linebacker harshly criticized Goodell in a statement he released immediately after the discipline was handed down by the commissioner.
“His condescending tone was neither accurate nor productive," Fujita wrote. "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 bad 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.”
Fujita also compared his record on player health and safety issues to that of Goodell.
“For me, the issue of player health and safety is personal," he wrote. "For the league and the commissioner, it's about perception and liability. The commissioner says he's 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.”
Fujita told the local media that he wished this ordeal had been wrapped up months ago, but that “if the fight must go on,” he would keep battling.
He said he would be “discussing all possible options” with his counsel and added that he would have never accepted even the one-game suspension had Goodell been more respectful.
“I haven't done anything wrong,” Fujita said.
Stay dialed in on the Cleveland Browns on Twitter at @CBSBrowns throughout the season with on-site updates from CBSSports.com RapidReports correspondent Marty Gitlin.