On Tuesday afternoon, we brought you the entire statement made by former Saints defensive end (and current Green Bay defensive end) Anthony Hargrove where he claimed the NFL was lying about the context of his alleged admission of guilt about the New Orleans bounty program and that the video the league presented supposedly proving his participation was not actually his voice.
“The final snippet has an arrow pointed at me with the caption indicating that I had said, “Give me my money,” Hargrove said. “Here's the problem with that. It wasn't me. That's right. The NFL got their evidence all wrong. In their rush to convict me, they made a very serious error. Is it intentional? I don't know. But one thing I do know with absolute certainty ...it...was...not...me! Like I said, lean in closer, look closer, listen closer. It is not my voice. Anyone who knows me well knows that it is not me. But the NFL does not know me well. They simply make assumptions. With ... my ... life.”
In response to his statement, the NFL basically said there were no assumptions and only facts.
As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, via Newsday's Bob Glauber, “We stand by our investigation.”
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Still, his statement was passionate and heartfelt.
“In fact, there is no way they can prove that it is me,” Hargrove said. “I stake my life on the fact that it is not me. I wonder if Roger Goodell is willing to stake his job on this piece of evidence? Or Jeff Pash? Or Adolpho Birch? Or Mary Jo White? … The truth is, this has been embarrassing to have all these lies about me echoing across America. Good Lord have my eyes been opened! Just ask yourself...if they will manufacture this piece of so-called evidence, what else will they do? I know it looks confusing, especially when they tell you what to look for, but don't believe it. This, in my mind, brings everything into question. Everything. And all of this because one man has absolute power and seemingly must use it.”
But no matter how much Hargrove says it (or how much Jonathan Vilma storms out of appeals meetings), the current mess is unlikely to change. The NFL holds all the power, and the league is intent on using it. For better or for worse, whether he participated or not, Hargrove will be punished for what happened when he played in New Orleans.
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