SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after running in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 36-32. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
As of Thursday morning, things between the 49ers and the Saints officially got personal. After years of denial, Gregg Williams was finally caught red handed for running an illegal bounty system. And after he received a punishment from Roger Goodell of an indefinite suspension, it may have even gotten worse.
As most of you know, an audio recording was released of Williams' team speech before the 49ers-Saints playoff game this past season. Williams spoke to his defense with specific instructions to intentionally cause injury to particular players. The players that were named were 49ers' Frank Gore, Alex Smith, Kyle Williams, Vernon Davis, Kendall Hunter and Michael Crabtree.
But it was Donte Whitner who spoke out passionately about the matter. I knew I liked him.
Whitner was appalled and found Williams' actions "disgusting." Most of the 49ers were pretty hush on the matter when approached about it. But I liked that Whitner spoke up because he did have some feelings about it, and he articulated them quite well.
"If those things are true, I think it's really disgusting and something should be done about it to a higher extreme than what is (already set)," Whitner was quoted saying. "You're out there intending to hurt guys. This is their careers and how they take care of families."
These are the same reasons I have been fuming over this entire situation. I find it just as disgusting and ridiculous in nature. I'm glad he spoke out about it, because I've been itching to know how the Niners feel about this. And by the silence of most of them, I can imagine it's because none of them have anything pleasant to say.
The 49ers conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism, from the rookies to the veterans, and they clashed with a team that was the polar opposite of that. The Saints, or at least they're defense, is classless. That's part of the reason why a number of them will probably not be participating in all 16 games next season.
And guess what, the 49ers and Saints will play one another in 2012. As Bart Scott would say, "CAN'T WAIT!"
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