The ever-opinionated free safety of the Steelers, Ryan Clark, made headlines with a tweet a few days ago calling out whomever informed the league about the alleged bounty program taking place in New Orleans:
Whoever is snitching on the Saints D should be ashamed of themselves. No one was talking about the "bounty" when they got paid.
It got him a spot on ESPN's First Take with Skip Bayless, who, as usual, was smug and pretentious in his demand for Clark to explain himself.
Clark's main point was how these allegations came to light so long after the alleged bounties began in New Orleans, and how it's not right that the "snitch" informed the league only after possibly getting paid for the actions the league is so against.
Clark delved into his comments a bit more, explaining the difference between "snitching" and "whistle-blowing," and reinforcing his opinion of the Saints players who might've taken money in the alleged bounty program before notifying the league of the wrong-doing.
Bayless took exception to his choice of the word "snitch," generating an angry reaction from Clark.
"That's only to people like you, Skip...you're also the same guy who called me a thug when you know me...I didn't say anything about the Steelers having a program like that... No, (the Steelers) do not have a bounty system."
Clark confirmed he never had a defensive coach tell him he would receive a monetary award for injuring another player. He said there have been rewards for interceptions or fumbles, but never for inflicting injuries.
Chicago Tribune reporter and former Washington Redskins defensive back Matt Bowen claimed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams used to offer money to take certain players out. Clark was in Washington in 2004, when Bowen was there and the alleged bounties occured, per Bowen, but Clark emphatically denied it.
"I was never approached to take a guy out. 'If you take out No. 4, we're going to give you, 15, or whatever.'"
The heart of Clark's concern is understandable - it is a bit hypocritical to at least allow the presence of doubt about whether the player who informed the league took money from this program. In support of Clark, he's simply saying if this person was a whistle-blower, he wouldn't have played with the system in place, and instead, informed the league immediately.
Either way, it's a story that won't go away any time soon.