The "bounty" scandal took another dark turn Thursday with the release of an audio recording featuring former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams making clear allusions to inflicting physical harm on San Francisco 49ers players before an NFC divisional playoff game in January.
Documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who procured and eventually released the audio, put out a statement Thursday explaining his decision to go public with the recording.
"If this story hadn't broken and been made public, I would not have shared this it," the statement read, according to The Times-Picayune. "I would not have compromised my personal relationships and risked damaging Steve Gleason's relationship with the Saints. I would have crafted these words and sentiments for another forum, perhaps years down the road."
Pamphilon didn't elaborate on why he chose to release the audio now, having obtained it in January, and declined NFL.com and NFL Network's request for an interview. He has yet to make available the full audio tape of Williams' speech.
"If it weren't for the fact I feel deeply that parents of children playing football MUST pay attention to the influence of men who will sacrifice their kids for W's, I would not have written this," Pamphilon continued in his statement. "Some will call me releasing this audio for fame or money grab. True haters will call it exploitation.
"People of character and conscience call it was it is: tru."
It won't be surprising to hear Saints players speak out against Pamphilon in the coming hours and days over a perceived invasion of privacy. Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins was the first to speak up on Twitter.
Sean pamphilon is a coward and should be ashamed for taking advantage of Steve Gleason! How much did u get paid for that audio?
- Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) April 5, 2012
Pamphilon comes off as a bit of a moral crusader with his statement, but he's passionate about the health of football players, made clear by a long journal entry posted Thursday on his blog. Was Pamphilon right to do what he did, when he did? That's a matter of opinion -- but there's no debating the material is incredibly compelling.