NEW ORLEANS – A recording of then-New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams urging players to deliver punishing hits on specific San Francisco players was released without approval from retired special teams standout Steve Gleason, who had helped a documentary filmmaker gain behind-the-scenes access to the Saints.
I feel deflated and disappointed. I feel frustrated and distracted, Gleason said in a statement on his website.
Gleason has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and has allowed filmmaker Sean Pamphilon to capture his struggle with the incurable disease. He played for the Saints from 2000 to 2007 and maintains a strong relationship with the club, which has backed his efforts to improve the lives of those living with ALS, also called Lou Gehrigs disease.
Gleasons connections to the team and to Pamphilon allowed the documentarian to be in the room with the Saints defense ahead of New Orleans 36-32 playoff loss to San Francisco in January.
But Gleason said there was an agreement that he and his family would own the rights to any recordings made of his interaction with the Saints and that nothing can be released without my explicit approval.
I did not authorize the public release of any recordings, Gleason wrote.
Pamphilon said in an email to The Times-Picayune that while some may accused him of orchestrating a publicity grab, he felt compelled to release the audio because he believes deeply that parents of children playing football MUST pay attention to the influence of men who will sacrifice their kids for Ws.
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