Le’Veon Bell addressed the media publicly for the first time since the news broke of his potential four game suspension. Though he prefaced by wanting to put the focus on football, he did lead with an apology to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization and fans.
The Beaver County Times’ Chris Bradford gets the gold star of the day for being my hero and filming the presser via Periscope. You can see his six minute interview here.
“First and foremost, I want to apologize to Steelers’ Nation, the fans, my players, coaches for being a distraction to this whole situation. I don’t, obviously, want to be a distraction. This whole situation, the appeal, I’m going to let it everything handle itself. I’m not going to speak on this very much, if at all, after this.”
Bell then deflected and put his focus on football, saying he would take questions regarding the game or his recovery from last season’s torn MCL and PCL.
Of course, several reporters did ask Bell about the pending suspension. He gave answers, short ones, but was not completely dismissive.
He told reporters he would expect a decision to be made on his appeal “sometime in August,” though that’s a wide timetable and pretty much a given.
Bell told the media he was “frustrated” the news leaked before he had the opportunity to complete his appeal process. He also said the league initially notified him “sometime in March” about a possible suspension. This, of course, would conflict with his comments in June that there was “no truth” to the report that Bell had missed a drug test.
One reporter followed up with that question and Bell, predictably, side-stepped it like he does to linebackers.
“I know what I said, I said what I said. I’m just going to let the appeal process play out.”
For most other questions, Bell replied he couldn’t say much about his situation, leaving it up to the union and league to handle things.
From a football perspective, he said he was excited to get onto the field and that he wouldn’t know how his body truly felt until his first action in the preseason. He did state that he was confident he’d be ready to go for the regular season, whenever that first game is.
“I’m confident in where I am. I feel like if we had a game tomorrow, I’d be ready to play.”