Filmmaker implies Fujita, Brees said he should release Williams audio tape

Sean Pamphilon writes that he didn't go rogue in releasing the Gregg Williams tape. (Getty Images)

When Sean Pamphilon released the audio tape of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams telling his team to kill Frank Gore’s head and target Michael Crabtree’s knee it caused a bit of a storm.

Some couldn’t believe Williams' words (Wade Phillips said it made him sick) and some couldn’t believe Pamphilon had the audacity to release it. With so much emotion swirling around the Saints' bounty program the audio continued what has been al almost surreal storyline.

But Steve Gleason, who’s suffering from ALS and was working with Pamphilon on a documentary, felt betrayed by Pamphilon’s release. That's because according to Gleason Pamphilon didn’t have permission to air it.

Pamphilon responded to that by saying the release of the tape was of the ultmost importance because, “parents of children playing football MUST pay attention to the influence of men who will sacrifice their kids for W's.”

Now Pamphilon has responded once again. He wrote on his personal website that he had consulted with Gleason and Scott Fujita before releasing the audio. While Gleason didn’t want to risk hurting his relationship to the Saints franchise, Fujita implied that releasing the tape was the right thing to do.

Pamphilon said he ultimately decided not to release it out of respect for Gleason but that he also felt Fujita understood this was a landmark moment.

“It was apparent to me that all during this time Scott Fujita felt this audio would address a public health concern,” Pamphilon wrote. “He knew it was quite significant, but he was clearly torn because of the Gleason’s personal concerns and quite understandably, he had considerable love and affection for his former teammate, who was now living with ALS.  I empathized with him because neither Steve, nor myself was truly willing to stand down from our positions.  It was as if Scott was hopelessly stuck between the irresistible force and immovable object.  And Steve and I were destined to collide with full force.”

After Pamphilon decided to drop the idea of releasing it Fujita told the NFLPA about the tape. Pamphilon claims he felt vulnerable about the entire issue.

More from Pamphilon:

After the NFLPA decided to approach the NFL, I text Scott and begin to express in a much more strident tone that now I am feeling quite vulnerable and do not feel it is fair to my family, that I am not making this material public, especially with these powerful corporations knowing I have it. Scott implies I am being paranoid and re-asserts his position that Steve, Michel [Gleason] and I need to make this decision for ourselves. Steve clearly texts he still does not grant his approval to the release of the audio. Throughout this entire time, Steve Gleason never considered the fact that contractually -- as per our production agreement -- I did not need his approval.

In fact, I was only asking for his blessing because I didn’t want to sever my friendship and film project with him. Also I had grown very attached to the extended group of family and friends who I became incredibly close with over the previous year.

But Fujita and Drew Brees reached out to Pamphilon, and although Pamphilon claims he decided not to publish the tape, he wrote that Fujita brought it up again. And with the backing of Fujita, Brees and the NFLPA, Pamphilon wrote he decided to release it. In fact, the NFLPA apparently thought that if Pamphilon was going to release it, the sooner, the better.

[More from Rapid Reporter Larry Holder: Story changed once Brees didn't control audio releasePamphilon reveals Brees, Fuijta involvement]

There are plenty more details in Pamphilon’s writings and much of it doesn’t reflect well on Brees and Fujita (though Kyle Turley comes off like a stand-up guy). I imagine we’ll see Fujita and/or Brees respond in public accordingly. But like the bounty program in general, it’s hard to know just who -- or what -- to believe.

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