NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk has vouched for the character of first-round draft pick Jeffery Simmons, who was arrested three years ago on a simple assault charge against a woman.
A tearful Simmons responded to Strunk’s words by vowing that he won’t let her down.
“Our locker room is so important, and we only have good men in there,” Strunk said Friday at a news conference introducing Simmons. “And this young man is a good man.”
Strunk said she didn’t speak directly with Simmons before the Titans selected the Mississippi State defensive tackle with the 19th overall pick in the draft. But she did watch the video in which Simmons was shown hitting a woman, leading to his arrest.
Simmons was found guilty of malicious mischief and pleaded no contest to a simple assault charge.
During a conference call Thursday night, Simmons said the woman that he hit was arguing with his sister. Simmons said he initially tried to break up the fight until “I just let my emotions take over.”
“It did not take me long to see that this young man had an incident when he was in high school,” Strunk said. “We all can look back on our lives in high school and wish we’d done things differently, but you can talk, ‘I’m sorry,’ the best thing is that he’s lived the life of, ‘I’m truly sorry and I’m going to be a good man.’ That made it really easy for me to become comfortable with Jeffery. We’re getting a great football player. That goes without saying. But we’re getting a great man.”
As Strunk spoke on his behalf, Simmons bowed his head with tears running down his cheek.
“I made that mistake and I regret it,” Simmons said. “Just to hear her say all that, I’m grateful. The key word she said was trust. I tell her in front of you guys, she can trust me. I won’t let her down. I won’t let any one of these guys down.”