The Buffalo Bills fired kicker Matt Araiza, two days after a civil lawsuit was filed that has the player among those charged with gang-raping an underage girl, the NFL team announced Saturday.
Araiza was held out of the Bills’ preseason game Friday at Carolina and was not seen in the locker room after the game, nor did he participate in a practice Saturday.
“This afternoon, we decided that releasing Matt Araiza was the best thing we could do,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. “Our culture in Buffalo is more important than winning games.”
Araiza and two others were accused of raping a 17-year-old minor during an off-campus party at San Diego State University last year.
The lawsuit filed in San Diego County Superior Court alleges Araiza had sex with the minor, identified in the suit only as “Jane Doe,” last October in front of a house and took her to a room where she was raped.
The others named in the lawsuit were Araiza’s teammates at San Diego State.
Araiza was selected by the Bills in the sixth round of this year’s NFL draft.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said he decided not to play Araiza and called the situation “extremely serious.”
Araiza issued a statement Friday disputing the details of the lawsuit.
“The facts of the incident are not as described in the lawsuit or in the press,” Araiza said. “I hope to set the record straight soon.” (AFP)