Fujita Hoping Suspension Will be Overturned

Do the four players suspended for “bounty-gate” have a chance to have their punishment overturned?  That will be determined over the next couple of weeks.  Cleveland Browns Linebacker Scott Fujita, owner of a three game suspension is hopeful.

Fujita stood before reporters prior to the Browns OTA’s earlier this week and professed his innocence of all charges levied by Commission Roger Goodell.  Fujita says he plans on awaiting word about the NFLPA’s grievance against the Commissioner.    Fujita continues to deny he placed money into a pool while with the New Orleans Saints from 2006 through 2009.

In March Fujita told Sports Illustrated he helped organize team pools for teammates for making big plays but not for injuring opponents.  Fujita feels the Commissioner may have taken those comments out of context in his findings.

Throughout it all, Fujita seems to be more worried about his reputation in the NFL than the punishment or accusations.  Especially considering his standing as a member of the NFLPA’s Executive Committee.

“My reputation is a lot more valuable to me than three game checks, and my track record speaks for itself.   I’ve done nothing but try to do the right thing throughout my career, try to do positive, impactful things in the communities I’ve worked and played in. And I’ve tried to do right by players in my service to them, especially when it comes to player health and safety. So, yeah, for this to happen, it’s disappointing.”

The union grievance takes issue that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to discipline players for conducts occurring before the new collective bargaining agreement was finalized last August 4th.  It also asks a CBA system arbitrator, not Goodell, have jurisdiction to determine punishment for players under the circumstances and rule on appeals. A hearing is scheduled for May 30.

Fujita, though, believes he has a chance to have his suspension overturned.

“I’m very optimistic,” Fujita said. “I’m always a hopeful guy. But I can only control what I can control right now. That’s getting myself ready to play.”

May 30th should answer many questions for not only Fujita, but the others as well.

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