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New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara: 'I was completely wrong. Embarrassed the Saints, embarrassed my family and my mother, embarrassed myself, embarrassed this city and the shield, embarrassed the NFL'

League suspends Saints star back for first three games of 2023 season


Alvin Kamara said he felt like a weight had been lifted Friday morning, and he had reason to feel that way.

When the New Orleans Saints running back addressed the media inside the team's indoor practice facility, it was two days after meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York to explain his role in a February 2022 fight in Las Vegas, and roughly a month after settling the civil and criminal elements of the case. Kamara pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge.

"(Wednesday), I went and met with Roger. It went well," Kamara said. "I think we got accomplished what we needed to get accomplished, so I'm happy I got the chance to do that, happy he gave me the opportunity to come up there. Because, obviously, I know that's not really protocol but he gave me the opportunity and I took it and went up there and met with him. And it went well."

Kamara, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler who is tied for the franchise all-time lead with 72 touchdowns, was contrite about the incident.

"It's been 18, 19 months that I've been dealing with this ordeal. It's a tough ordeal to be in," he said. "I never want to be involved in something where someone gets hurt or severely injured or anything. Poor judgment on my end, definitely a bad decision.

"But I'm a man, everything I've ever done in my life I've stood on and I can take accountability for and I can say when I'm wrong. I was completely wrong. Embarrassed the Saints, embarrassed my family and my mother, embarrassed myself, embarrassed this city and the shield, embarrassed the NFL.

"I just tried to do my best to keep it as much away from the media, as much away from the team as I could. It's hard to do that when you've got an incident like that. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tough. I've lost a lot throughout this ordeal; definitely not looking for any pity, not looking for somebody to give me a pat on the back and say it's OK.

"I know what I did, I know what I was involved in and I definitely take responsibility. That's part of being a man and growing. From here, I've just got to make the right decisions and make the right choices."

Kamara said he has lost money and friendships because of the incident, but that he learned an invaluable lesson.

"You never want to be in a situation – especially in the position I'm in, being a leader and being kind of like a role model for children – I don't want to be in a position where I put my hands on somebody," he said. "Obviously, that's the last thing you want to do because it comes with trouble, and it could have been worse. I'm blessed that it wasn't worse. Obviously, I still hate that it happened, hate the whole situation.

"It's unfortunate when you make a decision like that. But I know my character, I know who I am. Luckily, I'm somewhere where these people know who I am, this city knows who I am. That's kind of kept me going. I definitely learned that in the blink of an eye, a lot can change. So I've definitely got to make the right decisions going forward.

"It's more than just walking away. I was out at 5 in the morning. What did (former NFL coach) Tony Dungy used to say? Nothing good happens after midnight. So it's just kind of gauging those situations and being able to make the right decision, being where you're supposed to be and sometimes taking yourself out of position and not being in those places."

Kamara said the incident had been hanging over him.

"Obviously, it's self-inflicted but nonetheless, it's still something that's like a dark cloud," he said. "It's hard to kind of enjoy some of the smaller things. Today I just had like a little boost in practice. I just felt better, like a weight was off me. I'm looking forward to just focusing on football."

The New Orleans Saints took the field for workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Friday, August 4.

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