Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita insists that he is innocent of the charges levied against him by the league and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Not only is Fujita appealing his three-game suspension, today, while speaking with the Associated Press, the 10-year veteran said he was "willing to share everything" in his efforts to clear his name.
Said Fujita, "My reputation is a lot more important to me than three game checks. My track record speaks for itself."
The former Saints linebacker obviously is an important piece to the Bounty-gate puzzle, not only because he has firsthand knowledge of what went on while Gregg Williams was in charge of the Saints defense, but because he is an executive member of the Health and Safety Committee on the Player's Union.
During last summer's lockout, Fujita was very vocal about the league's negligence in regards to the health of its former players, writing an email that ended up going quite public, which in part read:
...more and more of our brothers fall victim to ALS, dementia and depression, among other afflictions. My heart screams for these men. Add to that the hip and knee replacements that are sure to come up 10, 15, 20 years after we stop playing. And through the whole PR battle that's currently being waged, in what some are calling a battle of greed between "millionaires and billionaires," the players have asked for nothing. Ultimately, we just want to be taken care of after we leave this game.
My message to the NFL: You say you care about us... Now please, prove it. For the sake of guys like Andre Waters, O.J. Brigance, Orlando Thomas, Earl Campbell and Mike Webster... prove it.
An impassioned plea, no doubt—but if Fujita's guilt is established in the bounty case, it would make the stance above look awfully hypocritical. How can your heart supposedly "bleed" for these men—when you were participating in a program whose whole aim was to ensure that your colleagues suffered similar fates?
As pressure mounts for the NFL to share what evidence it has that led to the suspension of four players as a result of Bounty-gate, don't doubt for a moment that Fujita will drag whatever evidence he's collected on his own to prove his innocence straight into the light of day.