A day after film director Sean Pamphilon released audiotape of ex-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams making a controversial pregame speech, the subject of Pamphilon’s film said that the tape belongs to him.
Steve Gleason, a former Saints player who is now battling ALS, is the subject of a documentary directed by Pamphilon. In a press release issued Friday morning, Gleason states the audio recording of Williams is his and was never supposed to be made public.
“Since my retirement, and specifically this year, the Saints have opened their doors and included me in countless team functions,” Gleason states. “I included Sean Pamphilon in some of these activities, because I felt my relationship with the Saints was an integral part of my overall journey. The Saints trusted me and gave us unlimited access in filming, and I, in turn, trusted Sean Pamphilon.
“Sean Pamphilon and I have an agreement that all recordings ultimately belong to me and my family. Nothing can be released without my explicit approval. I did not authorize the public release of any recordings.”
The tape, recorded the evening before the Saints-49ers NFC wild-card game last January, reflects directly on the bounty scandal that Williams and the Saints have been penalized for. On the tape, Williams discusses which San Francisco offensive players are hurt and how the New Orleans defense should go after those injuries, all the while allegedly making hand signals implying players would be paid extra for leveling these hits.
Pamphilon said in a statement that he would not have released the tape without Gleason’s consent had the bounty story not been so public. "If this story hadn't broken and been made public, I would not have shared this,” the director said. “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.
"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."