Vikings punter Chris Kluwe continues to state his opinion, whether that’s during one-on-one interviews or posting his thoughts on Twitter.
The public posting of audio of a pregame talk from former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had Kluwe and former teammate Visanthe Shiancoe frustrated on Twitter earlier this week. In the audio, Williams can be heard imploring his players to target various injuries of San Francisco 49ers players before January's playoff game between the two teams, a game that the 49ers ended up winning.
Williams can be heard telling his players to go after an anterior cruciate ligament injury to 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, an ankle injury of tight end Vernon Davis and – perhaps most appalling to fellow NFL players in this time of greater concussion awareness – the head of Kyle Williams, who has a history of concussions. Williams also instructed his players to go after the head of running back Frank Gore.
“All you bounty apologists may want to listen to the Gregg Williams audio,” Kluwe tweeted. “The way you earn respect is through fear. Are you (expletive) kidding me? What kind of neanderthal message does that send.”
The audio was released this week by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who had behind-the scenes access to the Saints last season while working on a documentary on former Saints player Steve Gleason, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“I see a lot of people asking about the context of the Gregg Williams audio clip as it relates to how other teams talk,” Kluwe wrote in a series of tweets this week. “I will enlighten! 90% of what he said was standard rah rah motivational stuff. Hit guys hard, get him going sideways, etc.; all fine and heard before.
“The part that is an issue is the other 10%, where he specifically talks about targeting ACL's, twisting guys' ankles in the pile, and trying to hit a concussion victim in the head again. That's why (NFL commissioner Roger) Goodell has to come down so hard on this; you don't want that spreading.”
The Vikings aren't innocent bystanders In the Bountygate scandal that has so far brought down a one-year suspension on Saints head coach Sean Payton, the indefinite suspension of Williams, the eight-game suspension of general manager Mickey Loomis and the six-game suspension of assistant head coach Joe Vitt. While Williams is believed to be the administrator the pay-for-injuring-opponents scheme, player discipline is expected in the coming days, especially against linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
“Multiple sources have confirmed that several players pledged funds toward bounties on specific opposing players, with defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offering $10,000 to any player who knocked (former Vikings QB) Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game in 2010,” the NFL said in releasing its finding of the investigation.
Favre was hit hard late several times In that NFC Championship Game, which the Vikings lost in overtime, but the crucial play came on an illegal high-low hit on Favre that severely sprained his ankle. He didn't miss any playing time, but his mobility was clearly limited after having his ankle taped and he had a difficult time climbing only a few steps to the post-game press conference podium in New Orleans.
“We could have a ring right now. (I)f certain calls were made it wouldve been a diff game,” tight end Visanthe Shiancoe tweeted this week.
That also drew a response from Kluwe.
“Man, I know we've seen some crazy ass speeches, but that's just unbelievable. What a jerk,” Kluwe tweeted, referring to Williams. “Heh no use looking back, gotta keep pushing forward. Can't change the past.”
But clearly Kluwe, who has been critical of Goodell in the past, is hoping the commissioner changes the future for any Saints players who had intent to injure.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.