Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, as the face of the franchise, has learned quite well how to talk to the media and make statements that either say nothing at all or go on both sides of an issue. He was able to do the latter when asked about the Bountygate scandal that has led to suspensions to coaches, executives and now players.
On Rich Eisen's podcast, Fitz discussed the issue, pointing out where both sides have valid points.
He believes that the league has to keep this sort of thing from happening, yet does not think that the players were bad in and of theselves.
As an offensive player, Fitz is clearly on the side of safety. Makes sense, since he is a receiver. After calling the whole situation "unfortunate."
"I think Roger Goodell, our commissioner, had to do something to let everybody know that was not going to be tolerated, and moving forward, this is not something that is going to be acceptable," Fitzgerald said.
At the same time, he has great respect for those guys who have been suspended.
"I've known Jonathan Vilma for a very long time ... Will Smith actually hosted me on my visit to Ohio State in college," Fitzgerald said. "I've known these guys a really long time and they're not bad men by any stretch of the imagination, so I feel bad that they are losing game checks and losing an opportunity to make a living."
As for Gregg Williams having done the alleged incentives for knocking players out of game, Fitz was stronger, saying how unfortunate it is that someone with authority would do that.
Clearly, as an offensive player, he wants any such program of paying players to take opponents out of the game. He's even right about whether the players are bad people or not. They were doing what they were told.
Hopefully the message the commissioner is trying to send has its point made. This way it never comes up again.
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