"I think it's unfortunate ... that authority figures in the league implemented such a thing," Fitzgerald said on Eisen's podcast, which will air Thursday on NFL Network at 1:30 p.m. ET.
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"I think Roger Goodell, our commissioner, had to do something to let everybody know that was not going to be tolerated, and moving forward, this is not something that is going to be acceptable," Fitzgerald said.
"I've known Jonathan Vilma for a very long time ... Will Smith actually hosted me on my visit to Ohio State in college," Fitzgerald said. "I've known these guys a really long time and they're not bad men by any stretch of the imagination, so I feel bad that they are losing game checks and losing an opportunity to make a living."