Green Bay Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who has been suspended eight games by the NFL as part of the bountygate scandal, has repeatedly said he’s not the person in the NFL Films video who said, “Bobby, give me my money.”
The video was taken from the 2009 NFC Championship game and was used as evidence by the NFL as existence of the New Orleans Saints bounty program and, at least in part, to convict Hargrove.
Now the league admits they may have been wrong. In a letter to the suspended players, commissioner Roger Goodell says he’s prepared to assume the voice is not Hargrove’s, something confirmed by voice recognition analysis.
So Hargrove is off the hook then, right? Not so long as Czar Goodell is at the helm!
“The identity of the player who made the statement was immaterial to my decision on your appeals and did not affect the level of discipline imposed on Mr. Hargrove,” Goodell wrote in a letter that was attached to legal filings submitted Tuesday. The commissioner said the video nevertheless provides ample evidence of a bounty program, no matter who said the words, and that “members of the Saints defense, including Mr. Hargrove, were well aware” of it.
The NFL hasn’t produced any evidence to suggest Hargrove was well aware of anything. Now that the video has been disregarded, their claim against Hargrove is even flimsier than it already was.
The league is intent upon punishing Hargrove and it appears they’re basing the punishment on the assertation Hargrove lied to their investigators about the existence of a bounty program. Whether he actually did that or not we really have no idea and if the NFL can prove it, they haven’t done so yet.
Of course, that has no relevance when the NFL is handing out punishments.