Former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jimmy Kennedy described NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a liar in response to his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.
Kennedy was identified as a "whistleblower" for his role in the league's investigation of the Saints' alleged pay-for-injury system. A memo sent by the league to all NFL teams listed Kennedy as the person who told ex-Vikings coach Brad Childress that the Saints had a bounty on Brett Favre in the 2010 NFC title game.
Kennedy issued a statement Friday in response to that memo:
"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," the statement read. "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."
Kennedy also insisted that he never discussed a Favre bounty with the NFL.
"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," Kennedy said.
"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 NFL had said former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove, suspended in the scandal, told Kennedy about Favre bounty, a charge Kennedy also denies.
"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," Kennedy said. "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 NFL's 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."