August 1, 2014

Browns LB Scott Fujita Rips NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

The NFL has announced new suspensions for participants in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Among them, current Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has been handed a 1 game suspension. And while the league seems to acknowledge Fujita was not a participant in the bounty scandal, he is still being suspended for 1 game for not speaking up (or something like that).

Obviously, this does not sit well with the beleagured linebacker, and on Wednesday, Fujita fired back at the commissioner, calling him out for his abuse of power and condescending tone. Speaking to the media before practice, Fujita said:

“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.”

No word yet on whether Fujita will appeal this suspension.

  • Pizzaman1221

    Any way the owners can ban together to fire the Commish and replace him? And if they have the power to do so…would they? I’m sure that means they all have to come together to do so. That’s a problem. I mean, they can’t even all get together to approve the sale of the Browns.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I’d imagine the owners love Goodell. He has put more money in the owners’ pockets, worked towards improving player conduct and reputation, and keeps the anger and frustration of players drawn to himself rather than the owners themselves.

  • mgbode

    “My track record on the issue of player health & safety speaks for itself.”

    yes it does Scott. you participated in a system that rewarded cart-offs. great solidarity with your fellow players there.

    “I also think it sets a dangerous precedent when players can be disciplined for not challenging the behavior of their superiors.”

    is this a dangerous precedent or an important precedent? perhaps the NFL should establish a whistleblower hotline for players so that they are not in direct-fire of their coaching staff while they can still notify the league of illegal practices. but, is it not important for players to understand that they are responsible for their actions whether or not the coaching staff “told them to do it?”

  • BenRM

    I’m not necessarily a Godell guy – I think he is about as fascist as a commissioner can be.

    BUT STFU SCOTT FUJITA! You are old. You are a whiner. And you are wholly irrelevant. The amount of ish coming out of your mouth is comparable to Godell’s.

  • MallaLubba

    I, conceptually, agree with your assessment of Fujita the player. However, I would counter that by saying that his relevance as a player and the issue he’s battling aren’t related in the slightest.
    …and in the bigger picture of player health, it’s exactly the irrelevant players that need the most assistance.

  • Natedawg86

    Should he not get credit for the game that he “sat out” because he found out a few days before the game that he would be elligible?
    Would he still be around if Gocong was healthy?

  • BenRM

    Agreed that the issue of player safety is incredibly relevant and that irrelevant players need the most assistance.

    To me, however, the entire statement rings hollow, since it’s a classic ad hominem.

  • Harv 21

    I was previouslyu critical of Fujita for his non-stop carping about Goodell’s lack of evidence since in 2011 the players conceded meaningful due process rights to the commissioner in the labor negotiations for fear of missing a game check in the lockout, and because Fujita personally participated in that as a player’s rep.

    But this reduced suspension reeks of a CYA move by Goodell. Failure to report … right. If this was legit every other member of that Saints’ defense should also be suspended for a game. But if Goodell completely exonerates Fujita so soon after folding in the refs’ lockout that will be two capitulations in a month, a tough guy reputation hari kari. Nah, commish has trapped himself in full save-face mode after overplaying his hand twice in a row. He can’t voluntarily drop this, he’s going to try and murmer something about reporting and quietly slink away.

  • gene

    Scott spoke the absolute truth and his articulation of the facts was outstnding.

  • James Pearson

    Damn right. Goddell is an ass covering weasel who likes to read his name too much.He should be suspended for conduct detrimental to the league.

  • jdfreeman72

    The commissioner made a mistake in suspending a white guy. They can actually form coherent sentences and argue points quite capably. Fujita is right on the inconsistency of Goodell. On one hand, he has completely destroyed the NFL we grew up with by fining or suspending any one that hits someone hard or makes what used to be considered a great tackle, and you cant go either high or low on the QB so nearly half of all sacks or hits after the throw result in penalties. On the other hand he refuses to compensate retired players and pushed for longer season. I disagree with the ref comment though, I thought the replacement refs did a WAY better job than the current officials.

  • azsaint

    People, if Goddell was a judge and his office a court of law. Then he has the power to forbid any player or coach from contact with a team or players. but he is NOT. By law, Goddell has violated the law. Where are the rights of the players on these sanctions that he has charged them with. Bring it out in the open and let “US” the fans know all the things that the players have done or not done. Of course, NOLA is NOT Goddell team and he will see that in no way will they win. So get ride of the coaches and players and what do you have??? that’s right, an 1-4 or maybe a 0-5 team. Wonder how Oakland got away with it for years? the beatings that is, and don’t forget the deaths of the fans too……….

  • Garry_Owen

    F-

  • Suds

    We need a new comish! This suspension is total crap and is Just Godels way of not admitting he was wrong in the first place.