April 20, 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.

Browns fans shouldn’t pay for Saints bounty program

As the New Orleans Saints scramble to make plans for Sean Payton’s year off from the game (possibly by talking to Bill Parcells) the players who played with the Saints from 2009 – 2011 wait for punishments to be handed down. As is the case with Scott Fujita and the Browns, they have to wait to pay the piper for sins that occurred under a completely different organizational umbrella. While Scott Fujita is a man who made choices and presumably earned some form of punishment, it seems rather odd that that punishment could end up being felt in Berea and all around the country wherever Cleveland Browns fans choose to roam.

So, is there a way for the player to be punished while not punishing the fans of a new team in a new organization that presumably had their house in order, at least with respect to bounty programs? I think there is. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Cleveland blog tournament, Bounty Hunting and Kyrie’s record season

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Before we get to the links today, just a reminder that WFNY is in the Cleveland Magazine Blogger Bracket this month. We’d appreciate you’re support. Vote here. It is an honor to be nominated. (Winning would be a nice honor too!)

“Funny thing: Every year, we will have thousands of outraged columns and radio/TV rants and blog posts about one team running up the score an another. Every year, we will have thousands of outraged columns and radio/TV rants and blog posts about how players dance too forcefully in the end zone after scoring a touchdown or sacking a quarterback. Every years will have thousand of outraged columns and radio/TV rants and blog posts about steroid use and recruiting violations and the violence intrinsic in video games and ultimate fighting and hockey and boxing and, yes, football too …

… does any of that match up with offering players extra money to seriously injure other players?” [Posnanski/Joe Blogs] [Read more...]