Following the team’s preseason loss on Friday night against the Carolina Panthers, Bills head coach Sean McDermott responded to the allegations against punter Matt Araiza.
Araiza is accused, along with two other former San Diego State teammates, of raping a 17-year-old girl at a party in 2021.
During the press conference, McDermott referred to the girl as “the victim.”
“It’s a situation that is extremely serious, just hard to go through. It’s not a situation that I or we take lightly. I understand the sensitivity of the situation and it’s clear we have work to do to continue to figure this thing out,” McDermott said.
Araiza did not play in Friday’s game, which was a decision by the head coach. He did not indicate if Araiza would be on the roster moving forward.
“I can tell you this: My heart, and my thoughts and prayers, go out to the people involved,” McDermott then said. “And that includes Matt. It includes both sides here. The victim, and everyone involved. Our prayers go out to them.”
The team’s statement on Thursday stated: “We were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021. Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point.”
McDermott said that the organization has “more work to do” when it comes to investigating the complaint.
“It’s just a matter of trying to find the truth at the end of the day. That’s the goal, is to find the truth and do the right thing, and that’s what I keep coming back to in my mind and my heart,” he said. “I just want to get to that answer as soon as we can.”