A key piece of evidence in the NFL’s investigation into a Saints bounty program is a short video tape which was shot on the team’s sideline during the N.F.C. championship game in 2010. According to the league, the video clip shows Anthony Hargrove, then a defensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints saying, “Bobby, give me my money.” The statement was allegedly made just a few minutes after New Orleans players were wrongly informed that Vikings Brett Favre had been knocked out of the game.
Richard Smith, the outside counsel for the NFLPA in the Saints case, said it was “my best piece of evidence because it calls into question the thoroughness, the accuracy and veracity of the NFL’s investigation and their statements,” Tim Rohan of the New York Times reports. Hargrove’s face is partially covered in the video and it is not immediately clear if he is the one speaking.
Mary Jo White, the league’s outside counsel, who presented the summary of the NFL’s evidence to the news media on June 18, said that it was Hargrove because his lips were moving.
“It’s just unfathomable to me that the NFL would simply rely on their naked eye and their ears to determine if a player has said something,” Smith said in a telephone interview Thursday.
According to the report, Smith hired a voice recognition expert to review and analyze the sentence. Smith said the expert had concluded that the harmonics of Hargrove’s voice did not match the voice on the tape, that Hargrove’s lips had not been visible and that the first word was not “Bobby” but instead the result of a player and coach talking at once.