Williams release a statement this Friday through the Rams in an attempt to douse the flames that have been steadily rising.
“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints. It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role, I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”
The question remains, what should be done with Williams. It is very naïve to think that Williams is the only one who has been participating in the bounty system. The bounty practices go back through the ages to the time of Buddy Ryan, the ex-head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles who was infamous for this system. Jeff Fisher who played and coached under Ryan is now Williams’s boss. Let us assume that Fisher does fire Williams, wouldn’t it be hypocritical on his part? Jimmy Johnson, a Fox Sports analyst said the same after the SpyGate scandal broke out in 2007 that if anyone thought that the Patriots were the only ones doing this, they must be nuts.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has always advocated for the safety of the players and following this latest scandal, he issued a statement on Friday.
“Our investigation began in early 2010 when allegations were first made that the Saints players had targeted opposing players, including Kurt Warner of the Cardinals and Brett Favre of the Vikings. It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it. The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance’ but also for injuring opposing players. The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.”