Scott Fujita, a union leader with a record of criticizing the NFL's player-safety record, sees elements of a "smear campaign" in a bounty investigation that has sullied his reputation. Some NFL players agree, and question whether Fujita's three-game suspension has something to do with retribution.
The NFL is denying accusations that it covered up retractions made by key witnesses in its bounty investigation, or that Commissioner Roger Goodell has placed gag orders on Saints employees and others who could help punished players clear their names.
Lawyer Peter Ginsberg, who represents suspended Saints player Jonathan Vilma, made the accusations when punished players appeared earlier this week for an appeal hearing, a full transcript of which has been obtained by The Associated Press.
NEW YORK — Former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove says it's not his voice saying "Give me the money" in a video used by the NFL as evidence in its investigation of the New Orleans bounty program.
Hargrove spoke Tuesday outside NFL headquarters.
Hargrove, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Jonathan Vilma each attended appeals hearings for their suspensions with Commissioner Roger Goodell at the league offices in Manhattan on Monday.