Fired NFL Network analyst Heath Evans defends himself over sexual harassment accusation

Heath Evans (L) defended himself against sexual harassment claims on Thursday. (Getty Images)
Heath Evans (L) defended himself against sexual harassment claims on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Heath Evans, a former NFL player and recently fired NFL Network analyst, released a statement Thursday on Twitter defending himself against the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Heath Evans says he was ‘falsely accused’

Evans, 39, was one of several former NFL player-turned-NFL Network analysts named in a sexual harassment suit from Jami Cantor in December 2017. According to the complaint, Evans “sent nude pictures of himself on at least two occasions,” constantly propositioned Plaintiff to have sex with him,” and “made several sexually inappropriate comments to Plaintiff, such as, ‘you’re making me horny,’ and ‘needed to get in you deep and hard.'”

Evans, however, states that the claims that led to his eventual firing — which came on July 27 — are untrue. Evans believes he could have cleared his name, but NFL Network wanted to handle the claims:

“Because the allegations made against me are simply not true and because I can prove it, I immediately was prepared to clear my name. But, the Network strongly urged me not to. They asked me to let them handle the allegations in a confidential manner and essentially trust them with my reputation. I decided to honor their request and reluctantly agreed to remain silent.”

Heath Evans and Jami Cantor ‘exchanged mutual flirtations’

While Evans maintains that the accusations against him are unfounded, he did acknowledge he had previous contact with Cantor that was sexual in nature. Evans also says he and NFL Network knew of the allegations before they were made public in December.

“I immediately told the network that approximately two years ago, my accuser and I had exchanged mutual flirtations that included her sending me and me sending her pictures of a sexual nature. I regret having engaged in the picture exchange. Nothing ever came of the mutual flirtations and we remained friends during and after her employment ended at the Network. In fact, she had texted me just 30 days prior (posted) to me learning that that I was included in the allegations. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I provided the Network with these texts, turned over my current and old cell phone and earnestly participated in their discovery process. After providing the NFL Network with the evidence, the Network kept me on the air and seemingly went to bat for me.”

Once the reports went public, however, Evans claims NFL Network “immediately started threatening to fire me with cause if I couldn’t sign their silencing agreement.” If he signed, Evans says, NFL Network offered to pay out his contract and allow Evans to handle the language of his resignation letter. Evans refused, though, and was fired.

Evans posted pictures of the pre-allegation text messages

Evans maintained that he has “no animosity for [his] accuser.”

“While I certainly wish she hadn’t falsely included me in the series of allegations she made, I understand better than most that people who have been mistreated and hurt, often hurt other people. Having run a non-profit that specialized in caring for victims of sexual abuse, I have first-hand knowledge of the damage mistreatment can cause.”

Evans then posted pictures of the messages he exchanged with Cantor in September, 2017. Cantor asks for fitness advice post-cancer treatment and ends her message with, “Hope you & the girls r [sic] doing great! Look forward to hearing from you hearing from u [sic] when u [sic] get a chance.”

A second sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against several NFL Network employees in late July.

More from Yahoo Sports:
Dan Wetzel: Don’t let NCAA fool you with its rule changes
LeBron James shows off Lakers uniform while giving Kobe a shoe shoutout
Ump pulls giant bug out of ear during game
Terez Paylor: Bears bring ‘fun-n-gun’ offense to NFL