One of the most surprising details surrounding the release of the Gregg Williams audio tapes was the fact that former New Orleans Saints standout special teams talent, Steve Gleason, was present during Williams’ rant. Gleason suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Recent medical tests performed on Gleason suggest that there may be a link between his current condition and the head trauma he experienced on the field during his playing days. To listen to Williams actively call for his players to target the heads and knees of their opponents was both shocking and disturbing for Gleason.From USAToday:
“When he specified the other players’ injuries, that to me, was over the line,” Gleason says in an HBO Real Sports interview that will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
Gleason, who was not aware of the alleged bounty program Williams purportedly ran, assumes the coach knew of his condition even while instructing his players to target the knees and heads of 49ers Michael Crabtree, Alex Smith andFrank Gore.
But more disturbing to Gleason, none of the Saints players acted as if anything was amiss following Williams’ pregame speech.
“The real problem was no one seemed shocked,” says Gleason. “There was no discussion of, ‘Wow, did we just hear that?'”
The audio tapes were released by Sean Pamphilon. Pamphilon and Gleason were working together, shooting a documentary style feature. Although Gleason says the release of the tapes were unauthorized, he’s making it clear that he in no way supports what was said. Gleason is a living example of the dangers ingrained in the game of football. To hear Gregg Williams spoke the way he did in the presence of someone whose life was changed forever due to injuries suffered on the field was very troublesome. One could only hope that he has truly learned from the error of his ways.