NFL Bills cut punter Araiza after gang-rape lawsuit
Aug 29, 2022 - 12:16 PM
NEW YORK — The NFL’s Buffalo Bills released punter Matt Araiza on Saturday, two days after a civil lawsuit was filed alleging he was among those who gang raped a minor.
Araiza, 22, was kept out of the Bills’ pre-season game Friday at Carolina, not appearing on the sidelines or in the locker room after the game, and he was not involved in a Saturday workout.
“This afternoon, we decided that releasing Matt Araiza was the best thing to do,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. “Our culture in Buffalo is more important than winning football games.”
Araiza and two others were accused of raping a 17-year-old girl during an off-campus party at San Diego State University last year.
The lawsuit filed in San Diego County Superior Court alleges that Araiza had sex with the girl, identified in the lawsuit only as “Jane Doe”, last October outside a home and brought her into a room where she was repeatedly raped by all three men.
The others named in the lawsuit were teammates of Araiza at San Diego State.
Araiza was named the top US college punter and was chosen by the Bills in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said he decided not to play Araiza, calling the situation “extremely serious.”
Araiza released a statement on Friday challenging the lawsuit details.
“The facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press,” Araiza said. “I look forward to quickly setting the record straight.”