The audio of Gregg Williams encouraging New Orleans Saints players to physically injure San Francisco 49ers players in the playoffs was not authorized to be released, according to a former Saints player.
Former Saints player Steve Gleason, who retired in 2007 after being diagnosed with ALS, told the Times-Picayune that he never authorized Sean Pamphilon to release the tapes that have rocked the NFL this week. Gleason says that Pamphilon was filming him for a yet-to-be released documentary on football and was given unlimited access to the Saints organization during Gleason's frequent visits.
Gleason says that he had a deal with Pamphilon that all tapes belonged to him and could not be released without his explicit consent.
Sean Pamphilon and I have an agreement that all recordings ultimately belong to me and my family, Gleason said. Nothing can be released without my explicit approval. I did not authorize the public release of any recordings.
Pamphilon wrote a lengthy blog post on Thursday that detailed his relationship with Gleason and why he ultimately decided to release the tapes. The rambling, at times incoherent blog post is Pamphilon's way of justifying why he decided to betray the trust of Gleason.
If this story hadn't broken and been made public, I would not have shared this it, Pamphilon wrote. I would not have compromised my personal relationships and risked damaging Steve Gleason's relationship with the Saints. I would have crafted these words and sentiments for another forum, perhaps years down the road.
In releasing this material, I have severely strained my relations with Michel and Steve Gleason, whom I sincerely love... Some will call me releasing this audio for fame or money grab. True haters will call it exploitation. People of character and conscience call it was it is; tru (sic).
The documentary filmmaker's decision to release the audio tapes has dominated the headlines the last two days. Williams had already been suspended indefinitely for the NFL for running a bounty program from 2009 to 2011 with the Saints, but the actual audio adds another level of shock and disgust for most.
During his speech to the defensive players ahead of the NFL Wildcard playoff game, Williams encourages his players to physically injure quarterback Alex Smith, running back Frank Gore, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, tight end Vernon Davis, and punt returner Kyle Williams, who was suffering from two recent concussions.
Kill the head and the body will die, Williams is heard saying. We've got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore's head.
The release of the tapes likely dooms the Saints' chances of a successful appeal of suspensions and raise doubt to whether Williams will ever coach in the NFL again.
Here is the audio tape, but be warned it does contain graphic language.