Who is Sean Pamphilon? Well, he’s the film maker that was hired by Steve Gleason to document his journey through suffering from ALS. He’s also the man that released this audio of Gregg Williams for the world to hear. Before I make any judgment or criticism about this guy, I want to be clear about two things:
1. I believe what Gregg Williams said and did was wrong, and the scrutiny and punishments he is currently suffering from are deserved. I also believe Wiliams is a complete moron for allowing an outsider to tape the speech he made.
2. While the Saints were gracious enough to give Sean Pamphilon access, and that should be worth some loyalty, I don’t really feel like he owes the Saints much and his decision to release that audio, despite how it may affect the team I root for, is not why I don’t like him.
With that said, I have a major problem with Sean Pamphilon. It mostly stems from these statements, which you can find on his blog, which I believe without a fraction of doubt has exploded with record hits since he released this audio:
“If this story hadn’t broken and been made public, I would not have shared this it. 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.”
“In releasing this material, I have severely strained my relations with Michel and Steve Gleason, whom I sincerely love.”
“Some will call me releasing this audio for fame or money grab. True haters will call it exploitation.
People of character and conscience call it was it is; tru.”
My very first question reading these statements, which pretty much make me want to throw up, is what benefit did sharing this audio bring to the parents of football players? Is he suggesting they weren’t paying attention to this story prior to the audio being released? Doubtful. Also, if Pamphilon found what he heard so horrific, why wouldn’t he have released it regardless of whether the story was out or not??? First off, how do we know he wasn’t the original whistle blower? And here Pamphilon in that first sentence is basically just saying that he has the backbone and mental fortitude to pile on a story with damning evidence, but he would NEVER be the one to bring it to light if no one knew. At least, not until later. Yeah, that sounds like a guy with TONS of moral conviction. Spare me.
In the end, this audio is just evidence. The accusations were already out there, and the NFL had all the evidence they needed to lay down unprecedented penalties on the Saints. So this is really nothing new, it’s just giving the public a more intimate front seat to illustrate all the flaws everyone knew Gregg Williams was already guilty of. It’s just confirming what the NFL asserted Gregg Williams was guilty of. On the other hand, the audio is definitely intense, juicy and incriminating. It’s a great thing to have if you want to make a name for yourself. Guys like Jeff Duncan would drool over material like that. Pamphilon basically took an opportunity to sensationalize this story, but I find it hard to believe there was any real motivation beyond a self promoting one. Why? Well, look at how present Pamphilon has been since his name was attached to this audio via his blog and twitter account. I’m sure the interviews will soon follow. Any press is good press, right? Ask Kim Kardashian how she feels about that sex tape. I guarantee you she’ll say behind closed doors it was the best decision of her life, it put her on the map. Pamphilon isn’t “just a guy”. He’s a film maker. He’s in showbiz.
Here is my biggest problem with Pamphilon: he’s roped Steve Gleason into this story. Gleason is just an innocent former player with ALS that everyone loves and now he’s receiving all this negative press and attention because of this. I have to question Pamphilon’s character on that alone (since he’s questioning my character and conscience for not believing his intentions to be “tru”). He backstabbed and betrayed his dying friend, and ADMITTEDLY “severely strained” his relationship with Gleason. For what gain? To raise awareness? Sorry dude, but you could have released this after Steve died. I’m sure it won’t be that long. Instead, he took an opportunity to release this at the perfect time: when the iron was hot. Sounds pretty self serving to me. If he truly cared for Gleason, he would realize this is the absolute last distraction an innocent guy dying of ALS needs to be stressed about. I’d like to believe if I was dying of ALS my “tru” friends wouldn’t betray me.
And forget the moral implications, Gleason suggests Pamphilon leak of the audio was ILLEGAL. Steve Gleason issued this statement in response to the leak: “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”. I’d say gong back on your word/promise/agreement to a dying friend qualifies as one of the most disgusting actions I’ve ever come across. It may even be worse than running a pay to injure players scheme. In the end, I’m not convinced Sean Pamphilon is a better person than Gregg Williams and I’m debating the possibility that he might be even worse.
Too many of Pamphilon’s actions don’t add up, in my estimation, for this to be sincere and genuine:
1. He willingly damaged his relationship with Gleason. A supposed “close friend”.
2. He blatantly disregarded an agreement with Gleason. A supposed “close friend”.
3. The timing of this release is very suspicious. If he truly cared for Gleason, he would have waited to release this at a time that didn’t cause his dying “friend” such stress.
4. He blogged extensively about his decision to release this on a public platform, his own blog, which has since seen record hits.
5. He works in showbiz, as a film maker, where exposure is paramount to success. What better exposure could he have gotten than releasing this explosive material? And he even has a nice self promoting note on his twitter page: “Anyone interested in my reasons for releasing the Greg Williams audio please take the time to read my blog”
6. He cannot spell the word “TRUE” correctly. How am I supposed to trust him?
Seriously though, for me, it all boils down to this: Pamphilon suggests those of conscience and character will believe this to be… wait for it… “TRU”. Ugh. But his own conscience and character has to be called into serious question! The betrayal and backstabbing of a dying friend suggests very clearly that he has no conscience or character. This is soaking and dripping wet with the ultimate hypocrisy.
On his twitter account, Pamphilon says, “I wish I could respond to you all but it’s been a long day & I’m exhausted now. Trying to find a quite place away from all of this.” Am I supposed to feel sorry for you? You brought this upon yourself buddy! As a guy in showbiz, no one should know better than you the attention leaking this audio would bring.
At the end of the day we knew Gregg Williams was guilty, and this is just evidence for those of us in denial to accept this as “tru”. Ugh. But please, Sean Pamphilon, spare us all the “I care too deeply for the parents of NFL families not to release this audio” crusade. The only thing made clear to me is you are not a good human being for doing this. For you to pretend like being a good human being was the driving force and main motivation in going through this is frankly insulting. But it’s all good, Steve Gleason will probably forgive you. He’s a good guy…