Browns Fujita Defends His Reputation
CLEVELAND — Browns linebacker Scott Fujita spoke for the first time since being suspended by the NFL for the first three games of the 2012 season.
His tone was firm, his words clipped, and his emotion ebbing at the surface. Fujita said he stood by earlier statements, maintaining his innocence as he met with a large group of reporters after day one of the Browns Organized Team Activity.
Fujita is appealing the NFL punishment and said he values highly how he is perceived.
“Listen, my reputation is a lot more important to me than three game checks and my track record speaks for itself”.
Fujita did not appreciate how his name was brought out in the public eye at a very private time in his life, when his wife had given birth to the couples third child, a baby girl.
“I had to hear something through a back channel media person about some investigation that been going on for a couple of years and I was never alerted about it.”
Fujita was not comfortable with the prospect of dealing with a commissioner who some day is both judge and jury.
“Right now its my word against theirs. Can I go to bed every night and look at myself in the mirror and know what actually happened? Yeah,”
A second grievance filed by the NFLPA on behalf of the suspended players will be heard on May 30th in Philadelphia. Fujita plans to formally file his appeal once the grievances are resolved.
Fujita is looking long term. He has a masters degree in education and wants to some day be a teacher. He would be very upset if fallout from this controversy impacts his plans to make a living working with others..