Former Saint says he heard pregame rant
NFL: Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita admitted being in New Orleans’ locker room when former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams delivered his brutal pregame speech imploring the Saints to target players.
Fujita said Tuesday he was escorting former teammate Steve Gleason of Spokane, who is afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in San Francisco last January when they attended New Orleans’ playoff game against the 49ers.
Fujita, who has been suspended three games by the NFL for his role in the Saints’ bounty program, had not previously mentioned witnessing Williams’ vicious rant, which became public after it was released by a documentary filmmaker.
Fujita reiterated he feels Williams’ comments were “highly inappropriate.”
“I’m not proud of things that were said by Gregg Williams and at the same time he’s a man I respect and loved playing for, so there’s definitely a conflict with all that,” Fujita said after the Browns opened their three-day minicamp.
Fujita was with the Saints from 2006-09 before he signed as a free agent with Cleveland.
He said a recent trip to New York with Gleason allowed him to re-evaluate his situation and regain any lost perspective.
• Referees deny strike threat: The NFL Referees Association is disputing a claim by the league that the officials threatened to take a strike vote after their contract expired.
Mike Arnold, counsel for the officials, says that claim is “patently false.”
’Bama wins to force deciding third game
SOFTBALL: Jackie Traina and Amanda Locke each had three-run doubles and Alabama forced a decisive third game in the Women’s College World Series finals by beating Oklahoma 8-6 in Oklahoma City. Game 3 of the championship series is tonight.
Another juror issue hits Clemens’ trial
BASEBALL: The day was a perfect microcosm of the Roger Clemens perjury trial. The lawyers spent more than an hour arguing over a witness who ended up testifying in front of the jury for about five minutes – about a topic the judge isn’t sure is even relevant to the case.
A new wrinkle was revealed in a trial that’s already run way longer than expected: One of the jurors is leaving soon for a six-month trip to Germany.
The predicament over the juror headed to Europe on June 19 might be more crucial than else anything heard in court Tuesday in the trial to determine whether Clemens lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone. If the juror is excused, the final alternate would be added to the 12-person panel – a cyclist and gym rat who said during jury selection that he knows people who have used steroids.
Sounders cruise in U.S. Open Cup
Soccer: Osvaldo Alonso and Fredy Montero each scored a pair of second-half goals, and the Seattle Sounders scored their goals in a span of 20 minutes to end amateur side Cal FC’s run through the U.S. Open Cup with a 5-0 victory at Tukwila, Wash.
The Sounders, going for an unprecedented fourth straight U.S. Open Cup, will be on the road for the quarterfinals on June 26, visiting either MLS rival San Jose, or the Minnesota Stars of the second-tier NASL. Seattle is 15-0-1 in Open Cup play since joining MLS as an expansion team in 2009.
Therrien returns to coach Canadiens
Miscellany: Michel Therrien is coach of the Montreal Canadiens again, a home-grown product who rejoins a storied franchise that fell to last place this season and angered many Francophone fans across Quebec over a previous coaching hire.
Therrien, a Montreal native, succeeds Randy Cunneyworth. He coached the Canadiens from 2000 until he was replaced by Claude Julien in 2003.
• Fernandez wins second stage: Daniel Moreno Fernandez of Spain led a late breakaway on an uphill finish to win the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine at Saint-Felicien, France , while Bradley Wiggins of Britain retained the overall lead.