Reactions to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to uphold his previous decision to suspend various players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal were predictable: the NFLPA was mad, while Goodell stood behind his reasoning.
Goodell decided to reaffirm suspensions to Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Anthony Hargrove, despite his initial ruling being overturned when it was appealed. The commissioner wrote a memo to NFL teams after making the decision, remaining confident that he was in the right for banning players for adding incentives for endangering the health of their opponents:
"In my recent meetings with the players and their counsel, the players addressed the allegations and had an opportunity to tell their side of the story," Goodell wrote to NFL teams in a memorandum, according to the release. "In those meetings, the players confirmed many of the key facts disclosed in our investigation..."
The NFLPA responded in scathing fashion to the ruling, insisting that the players are innocent. Furthermore, the association says that the players who have been suspended are having their rights as players infringed upon, and that the league has a vendetta against the players.
"The only evidence that exists is the League's gross violation of fair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth and fairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that it might have made a mistake."
The union vows to look into options to fight the ruling and continue to act in the interest of the players suspended.