Buffalo Bills Release Punter Over Rape Allegations
3 days after accusations were made public, the Bills have made a decision.
In a press conference Saturday evening, General Manager Brandon Beane announced they are moving on from Matt Araiza. The so-called "Punt God" was a draft pick of the Buffalo Bills this year. He has been released by the team after a civil suit was brought accusing him and 2 of his college teammates of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl in 2021.
The Bills have been facing a number of questions following the release of the accusations on Thursday. They initially said they did a thorough investigation. Beane admits that the organization "isn't perfect." Beane says they knew about the allegations at the end of July after the victim's attorneys reached out to the Bills.
Beane says they decided to move on after reading the full report and deciding it was in the best interest of Araiza to handle the very serious allegations against him. He also claims they had no idea about this issue prior to July and had done their due diligence during the draft process. He also added that they were trying to put as many facts together as they could in a short amount of time.
Beane says Araiza'a agent didn't know about the accusations. Araiza found out about the civil suit this summer.
Beane says the delay in action was due to the team trying to gather information about the investigation and learn the facts. He says the team was trying not to rush to judgment as they are not a judge and jury. He says Araiza's version of the story was different from what the civil suit lays out.
Beane added that character is important to the organization and that it was important to make sure they protect that culture. He says as a team they will lean on their culture to handle this adversity to move forward.
Head coach Sean McDermott says the organization is sympathetic to the victim and all involved. He added that Araiza understood the decision and agreed it was best for the team to move on.
Araiza did not play in the team's 21-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Friday night, the preseason finale.