Matt Araiza’s NFL career ended before it ever really began. The punter was cut by the Buffalo Bills in August 2022 two weeks before the start of the NFL regular season after an allegation was made public that he had taken part in the gang rape of a minor during his time at San Diego State.
Not a single fact was known about the alleged incident nor were there any criminal charges brought on Araiza, but the Bills caved to the portion of the public who had already deemed the punter guilty.
Fast-forward to today, less than nine months since he was cut, and it has been determined that he was not present at the time of the alleged gang rape.
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One would think that a 22-year-old who had been cut due to a heinous allegation that he knew was false would hold a grudge over the franchise that took his dream away from him, but that isn’t the reality.
Araiza joined OutKick show ‘Tomi Lahren Is Fearless‘ and explained that the Bills were made aware of the allegations about a month before he was officially cut, which he realizes now was the only choice the franchise thought it had.
“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 explained. “They knew the truth, but the accusations were strong enough that they had to cut me.”
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Be sure to watch Araiza’s full sitdown with Lahren on Thursday night starting at 7 p.m. ET on OutKick’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Araiza understands that the idea of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ doesn’t exist in the world we live in today. He’s had time to reflect on that sad reality, which is exactly why he holds nothing against the Bills.
“It was a shock to me, growing up my whole life wanting to be a pro athlete, the thought is if I’m good enough I’ll be able to have that career and play at that level, but that wasn’t the case,” Araiza told Lahren. “I was cut because of these allegations.”
“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 stands by the accuser that they were kind of forced to cut me from the team.”
Araiza is still facing a civil lawsuit in regard to the allegations but explained that he currently has no plans of settling.
He does, however, have plans to one day return to the NFL.
“In my heart, I believe that I will get another shot at the NFL and I’m looking forward to that,” Araiza said. “I’m staying ready and just waiting for my name to be called.”
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