Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza spoke with Outkick’s Tomi Lahren about the new details showing he was not present at an alleged gang rape in San Diego.
A transcript of a meeting between prosecutors and the accuser obtained by Yahoo Sports showed that Matt Araiza left the party an hour before a 17-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped at a house near San Diego State University. Prosecutors were also unable to conclude she was sexually assaulted based on video footage of the alleged incident, Yahoo Sports reported.
The allegations against Araiza sparked significant public outrage, which caused the Bills to release Araiza in August 2022. While the criminal case has been dropped, Araiza’s accuser is still proceeding with a civil lawsuit against him. (RELATED: REPORT: Former Bills Punter Matt Araiza Was Not Present At Site Of Alleged Gang Rape, Prosecutors Say)
Araiza told Lahren in a Thursday interview about how the end of his football career was predictable because of the public outcry caused by the rape allegations.
“I was shocked, but the writing was on the wall. I mean, the way people reacted to it. It was pretty clear to me that my career was coming to an end until I could prove everything and at first it was terrifying,” Araiza said.
Araiza said he was thankful the dispute did not become a “he said, she said” situation.
“If there wasn’t video evidence from that night, from the night before, if there wasn’t 35 witnesses who stepped forward and spoke to the police. I don’t know what would be happening if all that didn’t happen,” Araiza said.
Araiza told Lahren the Buffalo Bills were made aware of the allegations a month prior to his release. He said the franchise had access to the truth about the incident, but the backlash was too strong to keep him on the roster.
Matt Araiza case shows actually due process is still good and media should probably make a nod to it in coverage every now and then. Me @Outkick!https://t.co/adSg04QkbE
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) May 11, 2023
“I gave my attorney the greenlight to keep them in the loop and give them all of our witness statements, all of our evidence,” Araiza said. “They knew the truth, but the accusations were strong enough that they had to cut me.”
The former Bills punter lamented he was considered guilty in the court of public opinion without sufficient evidence. However, he said he does not blame his former team for their decision to part ways.
“I hold nothing against the Buffalo Bills, I wish things were handled differently,” Araiza continued. “But they did treat me with respect, which I appreciate. It’s just the climate of how things are now. Accusations bring so much hate to anyone who decides to stand by the accuser that they were kind of forced to cut me from the team.”
Araiza added he would not be settling the civil lawsuit against him.
“The damage has been done. And if I was to settle, that would waive my right to countersue,” Araiza said, “So, at this point, we’re the heavy favorite and continuing this any longer is going to be very damaging for them, so I’m not willing to settle.”