Alleged whistleblower Jimmy Kennedy accuses Roger Goodell of 'blatant lies'
The root of the NFL's investigation into the New Orleans Saints' alleged bounty program was a memo reporting a 2009 conversation between Saints defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove and former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy. The NFL alleged Kennedy reported Hargrove's admission to then Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who later reported it to league officials.
Kennedy quickly denied the NFL's allegations then, and is seeking to clear his name again, without pulling punches.
In a statement released by the NFL Players Association Friday, Kennedy vehemently denies his reported role as a bounty program whistleblower and informant, accusing Commissioner Roger Goodell of spreading "blatant lies" about him in a "shoddy, careless, shameful" investigation.
Here's the full text of today's NFLPA release:
The Commissioner of the NFL recently distributed a memo to all 32 NFL teams regarding the alleged Saints bounty program that contained blatant lies about me, thereby adding me to the list of men whose reputations and character have been irreparably damaged by the shoddy, careless, shameful so-called investigation behind this sham proceeding. Roger Goodell identifies me as the whistleblower who approached former Viking coach Brad Childress about an alleged bounty on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game.
That is a lie. I had no knowledge about any alleged bounty to reveal to anyone, and I never informed anyone that I did. Contrary to the false information disseminated by the NFL, Coach Childress approached me and asked me if I knew anything about such an allegation, and I told him the truth: I did not. I had no knowledge of any such alleged bounty.
Roger Goodell also states that I was interviewed by the NFL about the alleged bounty. That is another lie; I was never interviewed by the NFL, unless the NFL considers two 30-second conversations when I told NFL Security that I had no knowledge of any such allegations interviews. I certainly do not.
After the second phone call that I received from NFL, in which I once again told the person that I had absolutely no knowledge of any alleged bounty, I called my agent, who then retained an attorney for me. We informed the NFL Security person that further contact with me should occur through my attorney, and interestingly, we never heard from the NFL again.
The third lie that Roger Goodell told about me is perhaps the most upsetting because it involves a man for whom I have great respect and affection, Anthony Hargrove. The NFL states that Anthony Hargrove told me about the alleged bounty on Brett Favre. That is an utter lie; it simply never happened. I never discussed an alleged bounty with Anthony Hargrove before, during or after the NFC Championship game. The only discussion I have had with Anthony about the alleged bounty occurred when we recently spoke about the NFLs egregiously flawed and unjust investigation and proceeding. I am not one of the players who has been officially disciplined by the NFL as part of this sham, but I now know that I too have been damaged by the NFL’s complete disregard for truth and integrity.