Skip to content

Vilma’s lawyer calls NFL process “a kangaroo court”

espn_g_vilmaj_600 Getty Images

On Monday, lawyer Peter Ginsberg submitted a 17-point request to the NFL for information regarding the allegation that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was involved in a bounty program.  On Tuesday, Ginsberg said he has heard nothing in response.

Ginsberg discussed the situation on WWL radio, and he used strong words to describe the league’s investigative process.

“The fact that we haven’t received a single piece of evidence from the Commissioner not only makes the whole process suspect but made it important that we ask the Commissioner as specifically as we possibly could what we think we should be able to see in order to even the playing field and in order to give Jonathan a fair hearing,” Ginsberg said, via Nakia Hogan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  “And I must say that the Commissioner still hasn’t responded to this most recent request.  This is not the first time we have asked them for the evidence.”

Ginberg also criticized the the league’s public comments regarding the situation.

“[A]s we have seen in the press the last few days that the Commissioner’s office and the Commissioner’s outside counsel have discernibly misrepresented even the information that the Commissioner has gathered,” Ginsberg said.  “When you put that in the context of the Commissioner’s high-priced outside counsel saying that when we asked for evidence and when we wanted to know what we were answering to — and this is [outside counsel Mary Jo White’s] quote ‘a red herring,’ it really puts into perspective the kangaroo court that Jonathan and the others have been subjected to.

“I can’t think of any other forum in the United States where this kind of abusive process is permitted.  If you want to ask me why it is permitted, you are asking the wrong person.  I wasn’t a part of the CBA negotiations.  And I don’t think that the CBA as it stands permits this kind of abusive process.”

Ginsberg also reiterated his position (predictable as it may be) that Vilma is innocent of the charges.  “What the Commissioner has said publicly, the accusations and allegations against Jonathan are not true,” Ginsberg said. “They are simply not accurate. . . .  The evidence is not what the commissioner says it is,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think all of you will come to the conclusion that what the Commissioner has been accusing Jonathan and the others of doing is not correct.  It’s not accurate.  It was said publicly in an irresponsible manner.  I think that’s why we haven’t received the evidence.  And I think that’s the Commissioner’s biggest fear that at some point we will find the right forum that will make the Commissioner answer for what he’s said and what he’s done.”

The fact that the league has continued to refuse to produce raw evidence of guilt despite mounting questions as to its validity and/or existence will serve only to increase suspicion that the evidence isn’t what the league thinks it is — or that the evidence simply isn’t there.  Amid growing indications that the coaches primarily were nailed for maintaining an illegal pay-for-performance program and lying about its existence but that there may not have been hard evidence of a bounty program, it’s critical that the league put some of its cards on the table.

With each passing day that the league fails to do that, the suspicion will only intensify.

Permalink 86 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
86 Responses to “Vilma’s lawyer calls NFL process “a kangaroo court””
  1. youallrfools says: May 9, 2012 12:31 AM

    Using the Always Sunny defense. Classy.

  2. worstwebsiteever says: May 9, 2012 12:35 AM

    What’s a kangaroo court?

  3. tommyf15 says: May 9, 2012 12:36 AM

    Can’t wait to read “Goodell is always right when he screws the players cuz we like that” responses.

  4. drunkwino says: May 9, 2012 12:36 AM

    Hey Rodger? Wanna buy a used time machine and go back and stop yourself from claiming Saints players were participating in a play for injuries pool? I’ve got one for sale cheap.

  5. drunkwino says: May 9, 2012 12:39 AM

    Bonus points for going Clue and throwing in the ‘red herring’ card in play.

  6. eaglebobby says: May 9, 2012 12:44 AM

    And again I ask you, do you think the commissioner just pulled these names out of a hat or what? I hate to tell you this, but he doesn’t have to give you or anyone in the public forum evidence they’ve gathered. Wow–talk about cojmspiracy theories. They got the information from somewhere–don’t you think. See, what YOU don’t address–in fact, what YOU haven’t addressed–si why Vilma and the rest of them seemed to think that they were so arrogant they didn’t have to meet with the commissioner when asked, and now they’re crying like babies that they’re innocent. And not only that, but rather than believe what the investigative process found, you seem to take substance from a Saints’ beat writer, who got his information from “sources close to said players..” What do you think these sources are going to say? To me, you seem to defend the players too much–despite what the coaches and adminsitrators have admitted to. Not only that, but instead of chastising the union for not representing–or seem to represent the players–Rodgers and Newton–that were found to be targeted, you seem to be praising them for representing the guys that are accused of placing the bounties. And finally, for you to even suggest that the commissioner has trumped up these charges without eveidence shows further how much you are anti-Goodell and all for the players–a stance you’ve held since the lockout. Nothing like balanced reporting. That’s why ex-lawyers shouldn’t go into journalism.

  7. rabidmike says: May 9, 2012 12:47 AM

    What is your evidence there is no evidence? Oh, that’s right the league hasnt provided it to you to dissect it and come to your own conclusion and sell advertising while doing it. They dont have to win the court of public appeal and apparently they arent trying. Likely a smart move.

  8. eastsideballa says: May 9, 2012 12:49 AM

    Lawyers = Filth

  9. oscojoe says: May 9, 2012 12:55 AM

    Yea Right and Vilma & the NFLPA are great role models for the NFL!

  10. ilovefoolsball says: May 9, 2012 1:00 AM

    Wow you guys are really hard up for GODdell huh? It really is amazing to see American citizens ok with this process and the way it’s going down.

    And to answer you “eaglebobby” NO he didn’t just pull names out of a hat, he had plenty of reason to go after the Saints including G Williams and S Payton’s vicodin scandal which (unfortunately for GODdell) was handled out of his jurisdiction.

    Eaglebobby is the perfect example of someone who simply does not read, does not consider all of the facts, and blindly believes everything that he is presented in it’s neat and orderly fashion.
    I could spend the next 5 minutes breaking down everything you’ve said and how ignorant and small minded your statements were, but I’d rather spend that time doing something more productive. I already spend enough time teaching idiots how to use their brain.

  11. hail2tharedskins says: May 9, 2012 1:03 AM

    This request by the players and this site to the raw evidence the league has used to draw its conclusions is ridiculous in my opinion. As for the players, if they really wanted to know what the league had they would have met with the commissioner before he made his ruling. As for this site, how about you stop trumpeting what the players, their union, and their lawyers want! Since they are calling for the league to reveal their evidence/proof, how about you start calling for them to put their cards on the table and tell them to provide their proof of innocence??? It is blatantly obvious to me that the players know they are guilty, there is no doubt in my mind they were involved and are afraid to specifically address the situation because they dont want provide the league with information they may not have on them or fellow players. However, claiming that the league has mischaracterized or said that is not totally accurate is very disingenuous. If they players or their lawyers are not ready to say what their involvement was and or what they know about the players that were involved (lets not be naive we know the scheme was there and all players knew about it – and we even know that similar activities have gone on in many other locker rooms if not all), then they do not deserve the benefit of public opinion to support them in calling on the league to reveal its sources and possibly open up other players to retribution for being forthcoming with the league!!!!

  12. beelicker says: May 9, 2012 1:10 AM

    … & in related news, kangaroos call Vilma’s lawyer a slimy little beady-eyed rat-faced weasel.

  13. drunkwino says: May 9, 2012 1:39 AM

    How dare a man, who feels he’s been an injustice by having the NFL drag his name in the mud with allegations that he paid for other players to be injured, have the audacity to stand up and try to his name???

    Thanks for.the laughs. Oh, and remember, ex-lawyer Rodger Goodell would never never never resort to any cheap media shenanigans to get people to believe a lie. He’d never be dishonest about something that would make the NFL look good and trying to discredit former players suing because the NFL didn’t provide the safest work environment that it could by ignoring any evidence that concussion can cause lasting damage to a human brain. Nah, he’d never stoop that low.

    Stop wrecking your golden goose of a business NFL. You’ve got enough money to build and run an entire hospital or three soley devoted to retired players. The way you’re heading is basically begging Congress to get involved and nobody wants that insanity.

    Either toss some proof out there of pay-to-injure or admit you lied about that and it was just a pay for big plays system.

    And yes, it does matter. Truth always does matter.

  14. truthfactory says: May 9, 2012 1:52 AM

    All this boils down to 1 of 2 possible scenarios…

    Scenario 1: The Commish is just flat out lying. He was bored one day and thought: “Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if I made up some allegations and punish some innocent coaches and players by claiming there was a bounty system?? Yea! That sounds like fun!! I’ll even make some fake audio of their coach instructing their players to “take out the ACL” and to go “at the head” even after the whistle… I’ll whip up a fake audio of Hargrove coming to the sideline in the 2009 NFC Championship game saying “Pay me my money!” when he thought he knocked Favre out of the game… I’ll even falsify confession documents by coaches and players! This will all put a big stain on the sport that I am running, but I don’t care! I have a personal vendeta and will lie just because I’m bored! MU HU HU HU ha ha ha ha!!!”

    Or… Scenario 2: They did it, got warned, did it again, and got busted…

    Why is there no “hard proof”?? I’d say there is plenty of proof. Everything I listed in scenario 1, plus probably other testimony from players or coaches that they are trying to protect from being known as “rats” who have no reason to lie… This isn’t a court of law. All signs point to a bounty system. I listened to Sharper do a radio interview right after the player suspension on the SVP show on ESPN and after being asked a couple of times if there was in fact a bounty system, he never said “no there wasn’t”… he kept saying “where’s the proof”?

    Just because they weren’t successful knocking players out, and all that money didn’t change hands, doesn’t mean they weren’t trying too. “Attempted” murder trials area pretty big deal too…. you don’t have to be successful in your “crime” to be punished

  15. sackbombs says: May 9, 2012 1:58 AM

    This horse is going to get beaten to death. Everyday there are 5 articles about someone close to the accused saying they’re not guilty. We get it. Someone ask favre to send florio dirty pics so we can talk about something else for awhile

  16. besdayz says: May 9, 2012 2:00 AM

    What is your evidence there is no evidence? Oh, that’s right the league hasnt provided it to you to dissect it and come to your own conclusion and sell advertising while doing it. They dont have to win the court of public appeal and apparently they arent trying. Likely a smart move.

    ——————————————————–

    Hey douche, the league’s only strategy has been to win in the court of public opinion. That’s how they got payton, the saints, and now the players convicted.

    Now that they are losing that battle, you say they don’t have to win it.

    That’s all they got. No hard evidence shown, nothting that can win in a court of law

    So I say again. Douche

  17. lolb23 says: May 9, 2012 2:02 AM

    That’s racist towards marsupials.

  18. lolb23 says: May 9, 2012 2:06 AM

    On Monday, lawyer Peter Ginsberg submitted a 17-point request to the NFL…On Tuesday, Ginsberg said he has heard nothing in response.
    ____________________________

    Must be this guys first case. Try waiting more than 24 hours you impatient fool.

  19. yahmule says: May 9, 2012 2:06 AM

    Bored to death with this whole drama already.

  20. ningenito78 says: May 9, 2012 2:11 AM

    Eaglebobby and rabidmike- the fact is, at this point, the NFL does owe the public the evidence it has. The fact that you are willing to just assume that because Goodell handed out unprecedented punishment that it HAS to mean they have the evidence is about the most naive position you can have. I understand guys like you are pissed off that Saints fans (and non-Saints fans by the way) are trying to get the NFL to disclose the reason why they felt the need to hand out never before seen punishments. But the fact that the NFL has taken the step of handing out never before seen punishment is exactly the reason why people want to see this smoking gun they seem to think they have. It is now obvious that something is wrong. There is way too much smoke for there not to be fire. All they need to do is just say ‘here is the reason we did this’. As to your logic that the NFL wouldn’t go this far if they didn’t have proof? Well why would the players, NFLPA, and their attorneys go this far if THEY didn’t have proof this was all a sham to jump ahead of the imminent concussion lawsuits? Hope all you want. But the Saints aren’t going anywhere. Not only that. They may end up being SYMPATHETIC FIGURES if it turns out the NFL jumped the gun. And that very well may be the case.

  21. ningenito78 says: May 9, 2012 2:16 AM

    The best part is Saints fans can’t get enough of this. All the opposing fans ‘Oh they cheated’ and ‘take your punishment and shut up’. Sucks to be you guys.

  22. 4thqtrsaint says: May 9, 2012 2:58 AM

    For those of you that have posted against the Saints on this article and previous articles, I tell you this. If it is found that the Commish is truly wrong and the Saints are ir were being railroaded to some degree here, would you admit it? No. There’s a really good chance you hate the Saints already. And if that’s not the case, then I would say the NFL has simply won the court of public opinion. Even if the Commish is wrong, you’ve spent the last two months reading articles of accusations without hard evidence and your opinion has been molded by that. It won’t change. The only way any of you would see this situation differently is if this was your team.

    And before you say I’m just being a homer, you can look at my posts from the very beginning of all this, where I said if we did the crime, we deserve the punishment. As much as I want this to not be true, it might well be.

    But the majority of posts slamming the Saints seem to either be immature, uninformed or simply have an axe to grind against a team they don’t like. You don’t want the truth, you just want what you’ve read to be true. Your posts reveal that and there’s a huge difference.

    But what do I know? I’m just a Saints fan.

  23. mark0226 says: May 9, 2012 3:00 AM

    Why do people keep talking about the union’s lack of support for the targeted players? Those players have not been disciplined by the NFL, so there is nothing for the union to do for them. The NFLPA represents a player that has filed a grievance against a club or the league.

  24. pencilmonkeymagic says: May 9, 2012 3:17 AM

    Rest of planet calls lawyer a shark.

  25. mikemcdorman says: May 9, 2012 4:38 AM

    Lawyers = filth?

    The guy is fighting for Vilma’s right to due process. His right to work has been compromised, and the only way that that is constitutional in this country is if it resulted from a fair hearing and adjudicative process. What’s more, there’s a 300 year-old tradition in this country that says secret evidence is incompatible with due process rights. If this thing goes to federal court, and Goodell refuses to eventually produce evidence that reasonably justifies the suspension, the NFL will lose.

    But more to the point: you should be thankful that are country has such people.

  26. drgreenstreak says: May 9, 2012 5:13 AM

    Kangaroo Court – noun – 1. Australian tennis, 2. the meaningless letters written by idiot sports lawyers to invoke media hype and accomplish not one single matter in a legal forum.

    On a good day, Ginsberg has a fool for a client. But… he has some money and a big mouth. Great combination!

  27. vahawker says: May 9, 2012 5:26 AM

    ” If you want to ask me why it is permitted, you are asking the wrong person. I wasn’t a part of the CBA negotiations. ”

    So..it is DeSmith’s fault for failing completely during the CBA negotiations.

  28. jnd666 says: May 9, 2012 5:32 AM

    You are in theire Majest’s names hereby required to Apprehend Jonathan Vilma of Salem Village husbandman, if he may be found in your precints who stands charged with sundry acts of Witchcraft by him donne or Committed according to Complaint made before us by Rog’r Goodell Brought before us or such as may be in Authority here in Salem, and hereof you are not to faile Dated Salem May the 15’th 1692

  29. bartpkelly says: May 9, 2012 5:44 AM

    So a lawyer asked for 17 pieces of evidence on Monday, and on the –next day– he hadn’t gotten them yet.

    I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  30. larondontlikeugly says: May 9, 2012 5:52 AM

    After the NFL’s thorough investigation, I would imagine that the information regarding these players were probably provided by teammates/coaches who ended up cooperating with the league. At this point, Goodell is probably withholding specific information to protect his sources (and more importantly, the league’s image) the best he can.

    It’s still not fair.

    As a Redskins fan, I just watched the league impose the most ridiculously corrupt cap-penalties in the history of league on my home team and those other guys in NFC East.

    Vilma, Ginsberg, Fujita, and the rest of them deserve to see the evidence against them as much as the Skins and Boys do.

    Goodell clearly wants to go down in history as Judge Dredd, and that’s fine– but even Judge Judy won’t drop the hammer until all of the facts are on the table.

    It’s really not cool what’s going on in the NFL right now, and I equate these situations to people being thrown in jail without being told what they were arrested for.

  31. jpb12 says: May 9, 2012 6:30 AM

    Players CORRECTLY chose to negotiate greater benefits, and give the Commissioner the power to deal with personal conduct issues.

    They represented the interests of 96% of their members and let the Commissioner deal with the 4% …

    Alternatively, they should let this file go to the Prosecutor to see if criminal charges are appropriate.

    Maybe Mr Vilma would prefer spending time in jail for soliciting a criminal action that would injure another person.

  32. djstat says: May 9, 2012 6:38 AM

    The players agreed to it via the CBA. Next question!!!

  33. saints25 says: May 9, 2012 6:41 AM

    The audio of this interviewis up on “wwl 870am.com”

  34. jenniferxxx says: May 9, 2012 6:48 AM

    Once again we have that confusion between a civil court proceeding and a job.

    Where you work … aka the NFL … there’s a labor agreement … and some general labor laws.

    That’s it.

    Getting a fine or a suspension … even getting fired … it’s not like you’re accused of a crime. It’s the workplace. And it operates pretty much like any other workplace.

    All this lawyer-eese about evidence and proof … it applies about as much as it would if you were sitting in your bosses office discussing your annual performance rating.

    “What do you mean you don’t like my job performance? Can you prove it? Do you have any hard, legal evidence?”

    Give that a try next time.

  35. joeflaccosunibrow says: May 9, 2012 6:51 AM

    Because insulting something before it starts ALWAYS works!

  36. gingerkid2000 says: May 9, 2012 7:01 AM

    So maybe someone should ask Ginsberg, why would Goodell lie? Why would he pick these 4 players? And why the heck would he go after the Saints? They’ve won 1 SB. It’s not like they’re some longstanding multiple SB winning dynasty. The NFL is a private company that is not required by law to share their evidence with the public no matter how much we think they should. But if the Saints haven’t done anything wrong, why deny, cover up or apologize for anything? Why would the NFL have investigated them for 3 yrs in the 1st place? Because the won 1 SB? It was the freakin feel good story of the year and made them a ton of money! To investigate the Saints and vilify them over nothing makes no sense! Give Ginsberg & Vilma all the evidence they want. But they may want to be careful what they wish for.

  37. twindaddy says: May 9, 2012 7:06 AM

    How can he say the evidence isn’t what Goodell says it is if he hasn’t seen it?

  38. musicman495 says: May 9, 2012 7:07 AM

    eaglebobby says: May 9, 2012 12:44 AM

    And again I ask you, do you think the commissioner just pulled these names out of a hat or what? I hate to tell you this, but he doesn’t have to give you or anyone in the public forum evidence they’ve gathered. Wow–talk about conspiracy theories. They got the information from somewhere–don’t you think.
    ————————————–
    The great thing about America is that “where there’s smoke there’s fire” does not appear anywhere in our judicial system. Even the almighty Roger Goodell is not above the Constitution. You deprive someone of a year’s livelihood, you better come up with more than “trust me, I got 50,000 pages of evidence.”

  39. cooklynn17 says: May 9, 2012 7:07 AM

    OK, Vilma, the only clown here is you and your lawyer. I got an idea Jonathan, you have been working hard, why don’t you take a year off……..lol

  40. thereisalwaysnextyear says: May 9, 2012 7:20 AM

    Vilma’s lawyer calls NFL process “a kangaroo court”

    Then maybe he should tell his client to go get a different job. No one is forcing him to play football for a living. Abide by the rules or find something else to do. It’s Vilma’s choice.

  41. jc1958cool says: May 9, 2012 7:24 AM

    it’s not a court idiot !!! it’s a job and a league, say bye turd don’t need you lmfao

  42. iamwhodat says: May 9, 2012 7:29 AM

    What if you got fired or suspended from your job, for no other reason other b/c they can? Provides no evidence, for what they said you did, and you inturn have to appeal to that dame person who suspended or fired you. Sucks doesn’t it? I net some of you would be crying to see evidence real quick. Some of you people are f’n hypocrites.

  43. slowclyde86 says: May 9, 2012 7:30 AM

    Vilma’s liberty is not at stake. He is being suspended from his job. Due process arguments are therefor ridiculous provided goodel follows the cba. As others have said, this is not criminal trial with rules of evidence. He can cry all he wants.

  44. joeflaccosunibrow says: May 9, 2012 7:34 AM

    enniferxxx says: May 9, 2012 6:48 AM

    Once again we have that confusion between a civil court proceeding and a job.

    Where you work … aka the NFL … there’s a labor agreement … and some general labor laws.

    That’s it.

    Getting a fine or a suspension … even getting fired … it’s not like you’re accused of a crime. It’s the workplace. And it operates pretty much like any other workplace.

    All this lawyer-eese about evidence and proof … it applies about as much as it would if you were sitting in your bosses office discussing your annual performance rating.

    “What do you mean you don’t like my job performance? Can you prove it? Do you have any hard, legal evidence?”

    Give that a try next time.
    _________________________________________
    Never thought I could be arroused and scarred in the same post!

  45. jimiinpa says: May 9, 2012 7:39 AM

    i’ll say the same thing that i use to get out of jury duty , “if there is enough evidence to charge he must be guilty “

  46. santolonius says: May 9, 2012 7:44 AM

    at the end of the day, we all heard that tape.

  47. infrno says: May 9, 2012 8:28 AM

    The rank ignorance of Saints haters here is truly hysterical. I really hope you people aren’t stupid enough to spout this nonsense anywhere other than anonymously on the interwebs.

  48. miles58a says: May 9, 2012 8:29 AM

    The reason Goodell suspended only the four players he did, for the reason he did was to keep the appeals going through him

  49. gmen1987 says: May 9, 2012 8:37 AM

    Goodell is always right when he screws the players cuz we like that

  50. dexterismyhero says: May 9, 2012 8:52 AM

    @ilovefoolsball says:May 9, 2012 1:00 AM
    ==================================
    Please spend 5 more mnutes talking to yourself and maybe you can figure out how to use your brain as well. The NFL doesn’t owe anyone evidence. They are a workplace. Just because you don’t agree with how things are being handled doesn’t mean you are right.

  51. Reggie's Bush says: May 9, 2012 9:03 AM

    For the record, Vilma is under contract at the moment – meaning he does have a job, he is employed, his direct employer (at the moment) wants him to work – Goodell is blocking/stopping Vilma.

    Why would he go get a new job that pays less when he is currently employed?

    Please stop posting for him to seek employment elsewhere. Do you know how hard it is to have someone straight up fired with a union? Just look at the teachers unions and get back to me

  52. miles58a says: May 9, 2012 9:06 AM

    another thing, I don’t believe Gooodell has the evidence he says he has or he would have showed it by now. For one, everyone keeps making a big deal about the terms they were supposed to be using like “Crank up the John Deer Tractor” we used that term when I was a kid in all sports. Crank up the John Deer means the team as a whole plowing over the other team “Dominating” because thats what u use to drag a plow “John Deer Tractor. Don’t they use a Golf Cart like buggy to cart players off the field? Also don’t you think at least the players and the coaches should be able to see the evidence that their being suspended for, if you got fired from your job you would want proof of what their firing you for

  53. eztargetone says: May 9, 2012 9:21 AM

    Let’s add this up:

    Coaches get suspended and don’t really make a ruckus because they know the NFL is right and has evidence that the Saints did indeed use bounties as stated.
    Goodell is not releasing said evidence to protect the names of the whistle blowers. If those names got out, their careers would basically be over. Some people wouldn’t get hired again. Players may be targeted for repercussions, etc.
    So Vilma and his lawyer want us to believe that he is innocent and his coaches, teammates, etc lied about him. Not one of those people have stood up and said that Vilma did not do anything wrong. Quite the contrary since other players have stated that Vilma slapped the $10,000 on the table.
    Now Vilma’s defense is to use his attorney to try to out the people who spoke against him so that he can get retribution. Plain and simple. He knows if the evidence comes out he is screwed. He really just wants names so he can have someone to ‘roid rage against when he gets back into league.
    It is sad that I seem to see the public opinion on here swaying back to the Saints and players and away from the NFL and the people who stuck their neck out and said “This is wrong”.

  54. nagaswan says: May 9, 2012 9:23 AM

    Coaches ratted out the players, now league wants to protect the coaches.

  55. jcaro5566 says: May 9, 2012 9:23 AM

    Hey Vilma, why don’t you go play in the Arena league if you think the NFL is a kangaroo court?

    Isn’t it interesting that the guy punnished the most hasn’t hired a lawyer and isn’t out there crying about the punnishment or lack of evidence? At this point don’t you think that if Vilma and Hargrove were innocent Williams would have come out and publicly said something to that?

  56. pallidrone says: May 9, 2012 9:34 AM

    This lawyer is a shark.

    It has only been one day and does he really expect to get ’17 points’ of evidence?

    This is all posturing by this idiot lawyer to get his name in the press and try to pressure the NFL. Just because HE did not get the exact information that he requested in an short amount of time, does not mean that the NFL does not have it.

    People that are saying that they do not have this are being shortsighted. The NFL that deals with billions dollar TV contracts and multi millionaire players would just randomly select players as part of a bounty program and not have the evidence to back that up? They are smarter then that, especially since they knew about the possibility of being sued either by the players or the NFLPA. That is also why they got the evidence checked by someone outside of the NFL just in case.

    The public does not need to see the ‘evidence’ as much as people for some reason want to see it. For all we know it could be damaging evidence against the NFL which could harm it’s case in the concussion lawsuit. The NFL could be investigating some sort of gag order on Vilma and his lawyer before evidence is released which is why he has not ‘seen anything’ yet.

  57. Stiller43 says: May 9, 2012 9:36 AM

    Good thing the saints prorated all his salary into a bit bonus dropping his 2012 salary from like 6 mil to like 800k. So he’s only missing out on that 800k and not the original 6 mil.

    Soo…silver lining?

  58. slowclyde86 says: May 9, 2012 9:44 AM

    The commissioner does have an obligation to protect those who testified in this case. If not, how can the league possibly expect to others to testify in the future? Florio has been talking over this point all over the radio, but without any explanation as to exactly how the commish can both protect witnesses in a vindictive league and turn over all testimony. How?

    The fact of the matter is that this is not a court of law. No one will be locked up in prison as a result of this. This is, in fact, no different than what happens every day (employers look at the evidence and make decisions about employees. No courts involved provided policy was followed and no laws were broken (i.e. discrimination)).

    The commish followed the CBA. If these players do not like it, they can and should vote for new leadership and address that concern during the next CBA negotiations.

  59. saints25 says: May 9, 2012 9:49 AM

    the NFL chose news media leaks, character assassinations, PR campaigns and legal manipulation to >>>>mislead the public<<<< an on this site the NFL attack has worked. the fans of losing football teams(falcon,panther,bucs fans)cant stand the Saints,but I do understand my Saints have won 41 games in the last 3 years…boom!!!!! your hate an comments here have nothing to do with the PFP of the Saints,its about the 41 wins….just saying :-)

  60. j0esixpack says: May 9, 2012 10:00 AM

    While I think the NFL is right to issue the punishments they did on Bountygate, Vilma’s lawyer is correct, it IS a kangaroo court.

    As all but the most clueless fans know, signal stealing has been the well documented norm in the NFL since the 1950s and NFL rules allowed and continue to allow filming of signal calls from certain locations. The Patriots only violation was of a 2006 memo stating sideline taping was no longer allowed.

    When “Spygate” broke the public, most fans, AND Goodell himself acted like signal stealing was new and aberrant behavior (apparently none of them questioned why coordinators cover their mouths when calling in plays – and in fact still do today.)

    Instead of being upfront that signal filming is allowed under the rules, Goodell allowed public perception to become reality – and even today many clueless NFL fans don’t seem to be aware that signal filming is allowed under NFL rules.

    That’s not a wise way to conduct business – and I don’t mind one bit if Vilma’s lawyer calls out Goodell for deciding rules and punishments based on public opinion.

    Perception should not equal reality in the law or in the NFL.

  61. kokomike says: May 9, 2012 10:10 AM

    It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.

    Of course, the claim now is that the Saints were lying about something they never did. Guilty. Even more guilty every day.

  62. wtfru2 says: May 9, 2012 10:32 AM

    Abuse? Pay me a couple mill a year and I’ll take the abuse.

    Playing in the NFL is a gift not a god given or even constitutionally given right!

  63. dikshuttle says: May 9, 2012 10:34 AM

    There’s a Court?

  64. mjkelly77 says: May 9, 2012 10:38 AM

    Vilma’s lawyer calls NFL process “a kangaroo court”
    ________________

    Another ambulance chaser who won’t accept the fact that all decisions made are predicated on contractual agreements, both the CBA and Vilma’s individual contract.

  65. dzor22 says: May 9, 2012 10:39 AM

    who ever claimed a sports league, a business entity, ran by a commissioner was or is a court anyway?

  66. mhs8031 says: May 9, 2012 10:42 AM

    If it were court, his client would be facing time in prison for premeditated and deliberate assault.. This is not court, and Vilma should be thankful it isn’t.

  67. gingerkid2000 says: May 9, 2012 10:44 AM

    “What the Commissioner has said publicly, the accusations and allegations against Jonathan are not true,” Ginsberg said. “They are simply not accurate. . . . The evidence is not what the commissioner says it is,” preceded by “The fact that we haven’t received a single piece of evidence from the Commissioner…” So the evidence that he has not received a single piece of is not accurate? Does this guy think he’s the 1st attorney to have a client say he didn’t do it? And why is he talking about inaccurate evidence he hasn’t seen?

    Bring up Vilma’s protection by the US Constitution all you want. He’s not being prosecuted by the US Government so that argument is dumb. The US Government is not forcing him to shut up, nor are they denying his right to an attorney or an appeal. Neither the city, state or country aren’t charging him with anything. Go read the Constitution then show me where ANY government entity is denying Vilma ANY rights based on what you’ve read.

    The NFL is doing what it is allowed to do by its own rules and regulations as a private corporation. We may not like it but it’s legal. They’re called deregulation & capitalism. If you don’t like it, move to Canada and root for the CFL.

  68. mjkelly77 says: May 9, 2012 10:51 AM

    mikemcdorman says:May 9, 2012 4:38 AM

    The guy is fighting for Vilma’s right to due process. His right to work has been compromised … But more to the point: you should be thankful that are country has such people.
    __________________

    You mean we should be thankful for greedy leeches who represent clients who they know are guilty? Wonder how much money this weasel ambulance chaser is making? If this counselor is so altruistic, let him work pro bono publico.

  69. sarcasticchef says: May 9, 2012 10:53 AM

    This is this guys career. If you were suspended from your job for a year without pay I’m sure you’d want to see evidence and have your say too.

    There is a thing called due process and It should apply here, although I am unfamiliar with American employment laws and regulations I’m sure there must be some governing standard that would have to be met.

  70. djstat says: May 9, 2012 10:53 AM

    These lawyers are idiots. The players do not have the same rights…GET OVER IT.

  71. bootsers says: May 9, 2012 10:55 AM

    May be a kangaroo court, but it is the court they agreed to in the CBA. Remember the limited padded practices last year, remember the extended off season this year, time to pay the piper. Cant pick and choose which sections to follow.

  72. peachyc39 says: May 9, 2012 11:10 AM

    I hope that Vilma keeps taking this further and further away from the NFL. He should realize when the NFL truth comes out about all the liars and people who covered up and the psychotic coaches he better hope that Goodell doesn’t up everyone’s time for defying him like that. I wish this could become a criminal case like it should and see how his lovely chances would be in a regular court room. People are found guilty for less on a daily basis.

  73. miles58a says: May 9, 2012 11:20 AM

    The only reason the coaches didn’t do anything yet is that their not part of a Union. Their waiting for the players to clear the players names first.

  74. dannyabramowitz says: May 9, 2012 11:20 AM

    To all of you who say we should trust Goodell: this man blatantly lies to your face when he says “the fans want an 18-game season.” I’ve heard him say that 3 times publicly. If he’s willing to lie to you on that, why do you blindly accept his word on the alleged Saints bounty system?

    As to his motivation, Goodell is facing concussions lawsuits and is pushing an 18-game season. Going after the Saints bolsters his position on both fronts. He can maintain that nothing is more important to the NFL than player safety, see what I did to the Saints.

    Aren’t you curious as to why Goodell won’t release the evidence, feels compelled to hire an outside attorney to review the evidence and hold a press conference with the NFL media to convince them there is evidence, but still won’t release the evidence. In addition, the lead investigator has resigned, and Goodell and his hired attorney misrepresented the Hargrove declaration. The NFL also altered Greg Williams’ statement.

    All this makes me believe that Goodell ain’t releasing the evidence, because he ain’t got no evidence.

    How can you deprive a man of his livelihood and stain his reputation forever with no evidence? Not only is that unfair, it’s un-American.

  75. miles58a says: May 9, 2012 11:24 AM

    Peachy peach: What criminal case?

  76. mark0226 says: May 9, 2012 11:26 AM

    I don’t think Goodell made the whole thing up and picked the Saints and four random players. The Saints are guilty of a Pay-for-performance program, which violates the CBA, so the team and coaches and players involved deserve some punishment.

    However, I do believe that Goodell has slanted and embellished the story and implemented harsh penalties to help his legal battle relating to player safety. They will use this to claim that the NFL has rules in place to promote player safety, but players voluntarily on their own accord, violated those rules to harm, maim, and injure other players; therefore, the NFL is not culpable in these lawsuits.

  77. pallidrone says: May 9, 2012 11:50 AM

    dannyabramowitz says: May 9, 2012 11:20 AM

    To all of you who say we should trust Goodell: this man blatantly lies to your face when he says “the fans want an 18-game season.” I’ve heard him say that 3 times publicly. If he’s willing to lie to you on that, why do you blindly accept his word on the alleged Saints bounty system?

    ————————————————————————-

    How exactly is he lying about fans wanting a 18 game season?

    I know I would have liked to see a 18 game season and I am a fan. I also know a lot of season ticket holders would rather pay to see a real game then have to pony up the same money for a lousy preseason game.

    So he was not lying about fans wanting a 18 game season. He may have embellished the amount of fans that want it, which is what happens during the negotiation process, but there are plenty of fans that would be happy to see it.

  78. edavidberg says: May 9, 2012 12:34 PM

    Ordinarily I am of the mind that all information should be disclosed. However, in this case the evidence that has been released through other sources has already established Vilma’s culpability. There are witnesses that are making these specific accusations against him. These accusations were admitted credible by Williams, Hargrove and many others. There is an audio tape proving that players were targeted for injury with bounties just last January in a meeting Vilma was present for. Vilma had a chance to deny these claims months ago, including the specific allegation that he put up $10,000, and he hid behind a wall of silence. He wants to see the Commisioner’s cards so he can try to create a story that he didn’t do it.

    I’m a little disappointed as many PFT readers are getting sucked into this. At this point I hope Goodell releases the evidence (protecting the identity of any whistleblowers) and exposes Vilma for the lying coward he is. If he does that I hope he gives a new suspension for Vilma’s false denial that has come down now that the suspension was made.

    For the record, Vilma has a long history playing for bounties that dates back to his days at the U.

  79. themonster49 says: May 9, 2012 12:54 PM

    I’m curious. How can you call someone’s representation of something misleading and not accurate, if you haven’t seen the evidence?

    Am I the only person here who feels like we should be saying “OoooooK, just what in the heck is going on here?”

  80. banjostang says: May 9, 2012 1:41 PM

    hail2tharedskins says: May 9, 2012 1:03 AM

    “Since they are calling for the league to reveal their evidence/proof, how about you start calling for them to put their cards on the table and tell them to provide their proof of innocence??? ”

    You Sir – are an idiot.

    Just how do you prove that you didn’t do something?

  81. CKL says: May 9, 2012 2:11 PM

    sarcasticchef says: May 9, 2012 10:53 AM

    This is this guys career. If you were suspended from your job for a year without pay I’m sure you’d want to see evidence and have your say too.

    There is a thing called due process and It should apply here, although I am unfamiliar with American employment laws and regulations I’m sure there must be some governing standard that would have to be met.
    ___________________________________
    Honestly, it usually depends on your company’s fear of lawsuits when you are a big company. I was involved as a witness in a situation with my employer where my good friend got fired…and I was NEVER called as a witness even though I was the only other person in the meeting with the complainant and my friend. I wasn’t even allowed to VOLUNTEER my experience for the record. Why? Because my company was more afraid of this litigious jerk who had sued before to sue them..and he would have done so under EEOC laws which protected him even though it had 0 to do with the complaint.

    It’s sad but true…something like this probably applies to the NFL as well. They’re a big company and there is about a 1% likelihood that there’s no unfairness involved with running it.

  82. acetw says: May 9, 2012 2:35 PM

    @untruthfactory – Every time I start to think there might be hope for humanity, someone like you shows up….. Besides your idiotic sarcasm, your ‘recollection’ of events is severely flawed.

    Nobody was ever told “even on audio” to go “at the head”. They were told to ‘affect the head’ which is vastly different than what you’re attempting to describe. Of course, with your limited resources I’m not shocked that you’ve come up with any of this….

    “I’ll whip up a fake audio of Hargrove coming to the sideline in the 2009 NFC Championship game saying “Pay me my money!” when he thought he knocked Favre out of the game…”

    Nobody (except apparently Peter King) ever heard this on any recordings of the game. Who knows for what reason he made this up…

    ” I’ll even falsify confession documents by coaches and players!”

    There is not one, single ‘confession’ document describing a ‘pay for injury’ program by any players or coaches.

    The rest of it is just too dumb to try to re-read…

  83. drunkwino says: May 9, 2012 3:14 PM

    This makes twice Goodell has publicly burned a team and then tossed ‘unprecedented’ penalties at them. What? You’re really gonna sit back and laugh at a lying little potbelly pig make the other thirty teams look like garbage on his quest to be remembered as King Cleanup before you say, hey something stinks about this guy.

    For now, he is the guy fans are cheering as he sticks the knife in pro football.

  84. bp07 says: May 9, 2012 3:36 PM

    What most people fail to realize is that this type of activity goes on in EVERY sport in some form or fashion (baseball — “bean balls”, “high spikes”, rolling someone blocking a bag…basketball — blatant elbows, knees, etc…hockey — example coming) and has since the inception of competitive sports. But the ONLY team sport which allows it in EVERY game is the NHL. The use of “enforcers” is not only allowed, but teams draft and trade players to “rough up” other players and disrupt their concentration to keep their scoring prowess to a minimum. ALL NHL players understand this and enter the league knowing the dangers of such play. Other examples are boxing and MMA events. These athletes enter a ring understanding the dangers of being punched, kicked, or kneed repeatedly in the head. Football has always been a brutal and dangerous sport, but has become even more so due to the strength and speed of today’s elite athletes. I’m sorry, but if ANY NFL player comes into today’s game not knowing and understanding this and expects to not get hit, then they shouldn’t be playing such a violent sport. They should give back the ridiculous amounts of money they’re making for playing A GAME, go back to college, get a degree, and work a real job like the rest of us!

  85. 11jlacy says: May 9, 2012 11:10 PM

    Say cap keep your head. The whole city got you fa real.

  86. silentcount says: May 11, 2012 5:25 AM

    What Goodell is trying to do is just wrong. There was already a judge & punish system in place — Officials on the field watching your every move. That is the only evidence that counts. If you make an illegal hit, your whole team gets punished right then and there. Throwing a flag and suspending players for something they MIGHT have said 3 years ago is not right, unless you can watch replays of it on TV. Uh duh, if Goodell doesn’t understand that, then he shouldn’t be the commish any longer. Get him out of there. He’s not to be trusted.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!