NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - In a statement released by the Saints organization Wednesday, team officials stated that the organization never offered advice in the emails on how to conceal information.
“Never did the Saints organization offer advice to conceal information, in fact, we advised that as new information relative to credible evidence about other clergy came to light, then those names should be released and given to proper authorities,” the Saints said in the most recent statement.
“The Archdiocese reached out to a number of community and civic minded leaders seeking counsel on handling the pending media attention that would come with the release of the clergy names in November of 2018. Greg Bensel, Senior Vice President of Communications for the New Orleans Saints, was contacted and offered input on how to work with the media,” the Saints said in a previous statement.
The Saints will be going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control for the area’s Roman Catholic archdiocese to help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis.
Emails exchanged between the New Orleans Saints and Archdiocese will be turned over to the court, according to a statement released by the team.
The emails released will be decided by the Court and the Saints will have no control over what is published.
Attorneys for several men suing the church say 276 documents they obtained through discovery show the NFL team aided the Archdiocese of New Orleans in its “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.”
Saints attorneys dispute any suggestion the team helped cover up crimes and say the documents were intended to be private.
“The New Orleans Saints, Greg Bensel and Mrs. Gayle Benson were and remain offended, disappointed and repulsed by the actions of past clergy,” the statement said.
Protesters with SNAP gathered in front of the Saints training facility Wednesday demanding the team release the emails.