There may still be a stunning lack of shared evidence as bountygate marches forward, but we keep being reminded that the Saints players involved don’t seem to realize they’re real people, capable of making decisions with their own moral compasses that may or may not exist.
Thus we arrive at the curious case of Anthony Hargrove, the former Saints defensive tackle and current Packer. Hargrove reportedly signed a declaration in April which stated that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and assistant coach Joe Vitt told him to lie about the existence of a bounty scheme among the team’s defenders. The declaration was submitted to the NFL, according to Yahoo Sports, although it came unannounced, and league spokesman Greg Aiello told Jason Cole that the NFL didn’t request any written information from Hargrove or the NFLPA.
Here’s the supposed smoking gun from the Yahoo Sports report:
Williams said the NFL was going to come to the Saints facility to ask about the bounty program. Williams also said “some people thought that [Hargrove] had told Vikings player Jimmy Kennedy about the existence of a ‘bounty’ on Brett Favre because” Hargrove was friends with Kennedy.
Hargrove said Williams then said he was going to deny the existence of any bounty system, and that both Williams and Vitt instructed Hargrove to do the same. Williams also said: “Those [expletives at the NFL] have been trying to get me for years” and if all the Saints “stay on the same page, this will blow over.”
Hargrove said he met with an NFL security officer in March 2010 and did as instructed by Williams and Vitt, denying any knowledge of a bounty program.
This was submitted as further evidence that the Saints players were merely dogs following their master, who doubled as a frothy, deranged lunatic. Or, as the Saints would very much like you to believe, a rogue coach.
Standing up to authority isn’t easy, especially when your employment and therefore your salary and livelihood are potentially on the line. But there are certain instances when an inability to meet that challenge and step away from the sheep blindly following their master’s diabolical words speaks far more about a person’s character than their need to remain quiet, and remain employed.
This is one of those times. If we’re to believe Hargrove’s declaration, then he was more willing to put himself far ahead of his peers, their physical health, and the longevity of their careers.
Hargrove wants us to believe that he was being obedient, but instead he was being selfish.