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League responds to Vilma suit, reiterates commitment to safety and integrity

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The NFL has responded to the lawsuit filed Thursday by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma against Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation.

“We have not yet reviewed the filing,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email.  “However, our commitment to player safety and the integrity of the game is our main consideration.  We recognize that not everyone will agree with decisions that need to be made.”

Goodell will have 30 days to formally respond to the complaint, once it is officially served.  It will be far more detailed than the paragraph appearing above, and it likely will consist of an effort to dismiss the case, possibly under the argument that the labor agreement supersedes the litigation process, forcing Vilma to file a grievance under the CBA.

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114 Responses to “League responds to Vilma suit, reiterates commitment to safety and integrity”
  1. paleandpasty says: May 17, 2012 4:37 PM

    Goodell’s response will be to suspend Vilma for another year for suing him. : )

  2. mfancy says: May 17, 2012 4:37 PM

    So wouldn’t integrity mean the NFL releasing the evidence they have on Vilma?

  3. purpleguy says: May 17, 2012 4:37 PM

    Does it ever stop with this team? What’s next, the Louisianna legislature endorsing this lawsuit with a 28-1 vote?

  4. ndallasruss says: May 17, 2012 4:38 PM

    In the matter of Vilma v Goodell – the Honorable Warren Sapp, presiding.

  5. lolb23 says: May 17, 2012 4:38 PM

    OJ didn’t do it either.

  6. skoobyfl says: May 17, 2012 4:39 PM

    Who has better lawyers ?? That’s the winner.

  7. punkmonkeyfaces says: May 17, 2012 4:40 PM

    What’s tough enough for a man, but made for a woman? The back of my hand!

  8. frankiemontana says: May 17, 2012 4:40 PM

    Go Ahead make my day, Vilma do you want to try for a 2 years suspension?

  9. insidej0b says: May 17, 2012 4:41 PM

    the league says, “blah blah blah…player safety…blah blah blah.”

    show us the evidence.

  10. dzor22 says: May 17, 2012 4:41 PM

    Vilma is a low life. It will all come out. Contrary to popular belief; the league didn’t sit around and decide to create this. Common sense people! This is going to be awesome!

  11. medtxpack says: May 17, 2012 4:42 PM

    I understand Vilma’s approach but highly doubt itll help him in the end.

  12. blondebombr says: May 17, 2012 4:43 PM

    @mfancy

    actually, revealing the names of people who came clean and told the NFL the information under the promise that their identities would be protected is actual the opposite of integrity.

  13. thegreatgabbert says: May 17, 2012 4:43 PM

    Ouch……….just looking at that picture of Roger makes me want to pay him fine money. Not sure what I might have done, but I’m sure I did something to deserve it……

  14. tom-a-hawk says: May 17, 2012 4:44 PM

    If the suit is Vilma vs. Goodell, would the CBA really come into play? Wouldn’t this be like any one person vs. another person in court? (…for once, it’s a serious question from me….not trying to be a wise guy.)

  15. northeastkiller says: May 17, 2012 4:45 PM

    Blah blah blah, show your evidence and shut up, General Aladeen Goodell.

  16. ejmat2 says: May 17, 2012 4:46 PM

    The evidence does not have to be made public yet. That is what people forget. Do people honestly believe the league would take the chance to suspend these players without actual evidence? If so, the Goodell needs to be fired without delay. But let’s presume he’s smarter than that. I may wonder sometimes but there must have been some evidence to suspend the coaching staff (when they admitted to the bounties) as well as the players (where one has already admitted in writing).

  17. saints25 says: May 17, 2012 4:46 PM

    @dzor22 says: what you NFL Kiss a**es going to say when ole Roger ask Vilma to drop the lawsuit..

  18. marcinhouston says: May 17, 2012 4:46 PM

    So the decision to lie about a persons actions, destroy their personal reputation, deny them the evidence to refute to protect their good name, and deprive them of their livelihood had to be made, for player safety reasons?

  19. Daboys says: May 17, 2012 4:47 PM

    Vilma is a punk… Come on, he knows he did it. If he thinks this is helping him in public opinion, he is wrong. Maybe Vilma and Brees “missunderstood”. I have noticed Brees has not made any more comments lately… SMART THINKING.

  20. ilovefoolsball says: May 17, 2012 4:48 PM

    dzor22 says:
    May 17, 2012 4:41 PM
    Vilma is a low life. It will all come out. Contrary to popular belief; the league didn’t sit around and decide to create this. Common sense people! This is going to be awesome!
    _____
    Cool so you’ve seen the evidence that no one else has! Could you share some of it with everyone? You could make a lot of money or just help the general public by disclosing the evidence that the NFL has been holding secretly.
    I’m glad to see that you’re on the inside and you know that the league didn’t sit around and make this up, I was getting worried. Whew!

  21. lolb23 says: May 17, 2012 4:49 PM

    Vilma really thinks he is suing Goodell for “the information”. He’s just not a good reader, or speller.

  22. bozosforall says: May 17, 2012 4:49 PM

    Yet he never suspended perennial “Dirtiest Player of the Year” Roidney Harrison when he was in the league.

    It’s obvious that Goodell cuts slack only for those players who play for the owners that he is beholden to.

  23. Mikey says: May 17, 2012 4:51 PM

    Huh? I’m confused. From what I read in the previous article, this is a suit filed by Jonathan Vilma, the man, against Roger Goodell, the man. The NFL was never mentioned. Who cares about the NFL’s response? There has to be a reason that Vilma’s Lawyer went after Goodell, the individual. Maybe it was to circumvent a move by the NFL to claim the CBA supersedes any litigation.

    Someone with more legal smarts than me, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  24. dasportsninja says: May 17, 2012 4:52 PM

    Show me on the field Vilma or any saints taking cheap shots at the other team before you start suspending them because their coach is an idiot.

  25. moagecu says: May 17, 2012 4:53 PM

    marcinhouston says:
    May 17, 2012 4:46 PM
    So the decision to lie about a persons actions, destroy their personal reputation, deny them the evidence to refute to protect their good name, and deprive them of their livelihood had to be made, for player safety reasons?
    ____

    I’m guessing you are a big fan of conspiracy theories. You really think the NFL decided “you know what, the Saints won a Super Bowl, lets screw them over now for no reason whatsoever”.

  26. bucfandango says: May 17, 2012 4:53 PM

    Even a win ends badly for Vilma.

    Can you say “Blackballed”

    Greg Williams wants back in the NFL after the year off indefinite suspension. He will squeal like a pig and say anything to keep Goodell happy.

    Vilma on the other hand, has already been replaced, and doesn’t even know it yet. I hope he doesn’t blow out his knee again in court.

    31 other teams are saying “Not my Problem”.

  27. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 4:54 PM

    Goodell …..those who love the game support you. Fight my man, don’t let our league be overrun by liers and cheats. The homer fans defending the cowardly Aints and their players are those who dont truly appreciate the game or value honesty and integrity over wind and losses. Fight for our sport Goodell, don’t give in to Clemens…I mean Bonds….I mean Vilma! Don’t give in to those who will lie to the world just to avoid punishment for their own bad choices. The paying fans, the hard working citizens who pay the tickets want justice. We don’t want to be cheated out of the product we love. Fight for our sport Roger, Vilma wants to claim someone misremembered, or that they unknowingly participated in a bounty system. Protect our sport from the cowards who hide behind their ability to lie. PUT Vilma, the guilty players and coaches and the blindly led Aints fans in their place. Prove to us that million dollar athletes aren’t above the law and immune to justice for rules thy break. Protect our sport Roger!! Give Vilma his evidence and let the blind fans fall into the hole he dug hoping to bury his own lies.

  28. sdisme says: May 17, 2012 4:54 PM

    Integrity — Your being sued for defamation. It you want to prove integrity show the evidence and don’t try to use legal moves to run and hide.

  29. hawkforlife says: May 17, 2012 4:55 PM

    You know what they say, put 10 lawyers in a room and get 10 different opinions. The funny thing here is no one seems to know what the he!! they’re doing.

  30. kheaphy says: May 17, 2012 4:55 PM

    Truth is an absolute defense to defamation. If the NFL doesn’t get this dismissed on a procedural defect, Vilma’s name is going to be far more tarnished after his own lawsuit than before. All Goodell has to prove is that it was true that Vilma participated in a bounty program, that Vilma “pledged significant amounts” and the Vilma “targeted particular players.” I think the Greg Williams audio satisfies most of that aside from the money, and I’m sure they have player testimony establishing the funds. Vilma’s lawyers must never have heard the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie,” because if they subpoena the NFL’s investigative materials, they might not like what they find. And then Vilma is the one who gets to decide whether to release it to the public or not (assuming the NFL doesn’t obtain a protective order first).

  31. leeweezy8 says: May 17, 2012 4:57 PM

    I can’t see how the CBA has anything to do with Vilma personally suing Goodell. Goodell was the one to get on national tv and said Vilma did this and that! So show me the evidence that I paid, offered, or received 10,000$. If not, or you can’t, then pay me my money from getting on tv and bad mouthing me! This is not an attack on the NFL, it’s an attack on Ole Rodger Boy.

  32. dvdman123 says: May 17, 2012 4:58 PM

    Why do I have the feeling Goodell will not last for the duration of his current contract? I think the owners will realize they made a mistake and buy out his contract. Too much has gone wrong during his tenure/watch.

  33. whodatgirl1 says: May 17, 2012 5:04 PM

    Why didn’t Goodell make a staement? This isn’t Vilam suing the NFL, it’s Vilma suing Roger.

  34. jbaxt says: May 17, 2012 5:04 PM

    If Goodell appeals does Vilma review and decide the validity of the appeal? See how that’s not a reasonable process Roger?

  35. saintsfan26 says: May 17, 2012 5:05 PM

    This response isnt good enough NFL! You are about to go to court where you are gonna need some ACTUAL EVIDENCE!!!

  36. shrike3000 says: May 17, 2012 5:08 PM

    @kheaphy

    How does The Gregg Williams audio establish anything the players did? That was just talk. Watch the game, none of the things Williams talked about happened on the field. The only people hurt in that game were Saints players by 49ers defenders.

  37. dannyabramowitz says: May 17, 2012 5:09 PM

    Be objective people:

    Goodell says he has evidence, but won’t release it. He then hires a lawyer to say she reviewed the evidence and it is “quite strong,” but she won’t release it. The lead investigator on the Saints bounty probe resigns suddenly and Goodell dumps the information late on a Friday. As Florio pointed out, Goodell misrepresented Hargrove’s affidavit, claiming he admitted to a bounty system, when he didn’t. Goodell also altered Greg Williams’ original statement.

    Open your eyes, something fishy is going on here.

    As to those who question why Goodell would punish Saints players without evidence, here’s the answer: Goodell is facing numerous concussion lawsuits while pushing an 18-game season. He bolsters his position in both instances through his bounty allegations and severe punishments against the Saints. He can say, no one cares more about player safety than me — look what I did to the Saints.

  38. ilovefoolsball says: May 17, 2012 5:13 PM

    kheaphy says:
    May 17, 2012 4:55 PM
    Truth is an absolute defense to defamation. If the NFL doesn’t get this dismissed on a procedural defect, Vilma’s name is going to be far more tarnished after his own lawsuit than before. All Goodell has to prove is that it was true that Vilma participated in a bounty program, that Vilma “pledged significant amounts” and the Vilma “targeted particular players.” I think the Greg Williams audio satisfies most of that aside from the money, and I’m sure they have player testimony establishing the funds. Vilma’s lawyers must never have heard the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie,” because if they subpoena the NFL’s investigative materials, they might not like what they find. And then Vilma is the one who gets to decide whether to release it to the public or not (assuming the NFL doesn’t obtain a protective order first).
    _____________
    WOW are you serious? You’re saying that Gregg Williams’ audio before a game is enough to accuse a player of doing something where he wasn’t even on the recording?
    Don’t you think that Vilma wouldn’t have brought this suit up with all of the negative consequences that would be in it for him if he, y’know DID the things Goodell is accusing him of?
    Do you really think that his lawyer would advise him to sue for defamation of character if he told his lawyer IN CONFIDENCE, that he’s guilty of doing those things?
    Vilma may have every reason to lie to the public about these things if he’s guilty but he has no benefit in lying to his lawyer, the only man who is paid to provide the best defense for him.
    I think this suit proves more than ever that Goodell is the one who is lying and fabricating as Vilma has little to gain and everything to lose by taking such a drastic measure.
    Don’t corner a wild animal.

  39. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 5:13 PM

    Gone wrong….Jesus people do you want a commissioner who lets the players run the league and determine there own punishments. The owners buying out his contract….my god you people are idiots. Its safe to say the idiots defending Vilma and cryin for evidence have no integrity themselves. To hear you people act as if Goodell is a villain make me wonder how you raise your own children. Let’s just teach our children to lie and assign blame to anyone but themselves. Let’s teach them that your not your not guilty because if you lie enough and look for loopholes you can get away with anything. The lack of accountability is just nauseating. You people defending this clown are cowards.

  40. cwmorga says: May 17, 2012 5:23 PM

    @bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 5:13 PM

    because if you lie enough and look for loopholes you can get away with anything. The lack of accountability is just nauseating. You people defending this clown are cowards.
    ——————

    That sums up my feelings on Goodell and his slurpers quite nicely.

  41. kchoya says: May 17, 2012 5:25 PM

    @bozosforall

    Yet he never suspended perennial “Dirtiest Player of the Year” Roidney Harrison when he was in the league.

    It’s obvious that Goodell cuts slack only for those players who play for the owners that he is beholden to.

    —–

    Um, so who suspended Harrison for the first four games of the 2007 regular season?

  42. dowhatifeellike says: May 17, 2012 5:26 PM

    The evidence is being withheld to protect the identity or identities of the informant(s). The right of the informant(s) to remain anonymous trumps the right of Vilma (or anyone else) to see the evidence.

    If you don’t like it, take it up with the SCOTUS. I’m sure they’ll make time for you.

  43. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 5:27 PM

    Ilovefoolsball—-get a life. So just because he filed this lawsuit proves Goodell is lying….haha….omg you are a complete idiot. Did Clemens put less on the Line lying to congress. Goodell has no reason to lie, lying could get the concussion lawsuit. It would in no way benefit him or the league to lie about something like this. Liers will lie until they believetheir own lie. Plus I think he’s too
    Far into his lie to admit the truth. I’m mean come on is it really unheard of that a client would lie to his lawyers or that a lawyer would know the truth but still look for loopholes to get his client off. ILOVEFOOLSBALL your are the definition of cowardly….your argument is ridiculous and your points are so fan driven that it’s actually disgraceful and insulting that you call yourself a NFL fan….

  44. 49erstim says: May 17, 2012 5:28 PM

    I see what Vilma is trying to do. He thinks this will somehow force Goodell’s hand. He didn’t “defame” him. He “suspended” him. I don’t know what legal recourse you have there, but there is no way that “defamation” sticks. Maybe he should also sue his passive-aggressive, inept union too. I’d support that. They’re that dude in the back of the crowd that eggs the fight on only to jump back out of harms way. For shame Players Association…for shame!

  45. bduncanscott says: May 17, 2012 5:30 PM

    Goodell is the ANTI INTEGRITY! He got busted bending the rules to steal cap space from two teams, he laid HEAVY HEAVY punishments on people and an organization with NO proof of someone getting hurt or getting paid for hurting someone. He laid judgement affecting the lives of players and coaches on he fact that “someone said that someone said” they would pay to take someone out. Imagine going to court and being convicted of murder because you “said” you were so mad at your partner you could “just kill em” but there not actually being a murder. But being convicted because someone said you said it… Integrity my Ass! Hypocrisy!

  46. realtimeeyes says: May 17, 2012 5:30 PM

    One day the NFL will stop listening to their lawyers and realize that they still operate inside the USA.. And the players do still have rights.

  47. kheaphy says: May 17, 2012 5:31 PM

    ilovefoolsball:

    I just finished a defamation lawsuit in which a party claimed to be defamed until they were blue in the face, and after we were finished presenting evidence, it turns out everything my client said was 100% true and the plaintiff was lying; it didn’t even make it to a jury, it was that obvious. Yes, I think Vilma has every incentive to file a lawsuit even if he’s guilty because he has little to lose, it lends support to him publicly in the short term, and his attorneys will gladly make money pursuing his wishes. And if the simple act of filing a suit “proves more than ever that Goodell is the one who is lying,” then in your eyes there is as little need for a presentation of evidence in support of Goodell as you’re complaining of here with regard to Vilma.

    And for the record, I believe they filed the suit only to obtain subpoena power over the NFL, put them on the defensive, and try to force them to hand over the evidence. My caution is that the NFL might just have some, and then Vilma is in a worse position. For that reason a lawyer would happily file suit knowing his client is wrong, collecting plenty of fees along the way.

  48. effedinLA says: May 17, 2012 5:32 PM

    If you are not part of the lawsuit are you entitled to see the evidence? Why should the general fan be given access to such private information?
    If I were in a lawsuit with my employer, I doubt you would be entitled to see that evidence before trial too.
    So, to Saint’s fan saying show me the evidence!
    Shut up already!

  49. 28purple4mvp says: May 17, 2012 5:38 PM

    bears and jazz-These are the people that needed solid proof of katrina coming before they left town and never did. Then blame everyone else for all the deaths. Idiot is being pretty nice

  50. brenenostler says: May 17, 2012 5:39 PM

    Goodell isn’t out to get the Saints. He wouldn’t have made the suspensions without any evidence.

    Now, releasing the evidence just makes everyone involved look bad. Or worse than they already do. Kind of similar to why the U.S. government didn’t release the pictures of Osama dead. Hope you saw that mfancy.

  51. ratedgap says: May 17, 2012 5:42 PM

    bearsandjazz says:
    May 17, 2012 5:13 PM
    Gone wrong….Jesus people do you want a commissioner who lets the players run the league and determine there own punishments. The owners buying out his contract….my god you people are idiots. Its safe to say the idiots defending Vilma and cryin for evidence have no integrity themselves. To hear you people act as if Goodell is a villain make me wonder how you raise your own children. Let’s just teach our children to lie and assign blame to anyone but themselves. Let’s teach them that your not your not guilty because if you lie enough and look for loopholes you can get away with anything. The lack of accountability is just nauseating. You people defending this clown are cowards.

    ————————————————-

    You sound like a delusional, establishment supporting sheep. Do you raise your children not to defend themselves when someone accuses them of a falsehood? “It’s okay they said you stole that honey, they don’t have to prove it, just go to jail and do your time quietly.” NO ONE is against player safety or the league being cleaned up, EVERYONE should be against unjust punishment, or an overreaction to this situation due to the potential outcome of a completely different situation. IT IS NOT OKAY for the NFL to stick it to the Saints to prove they are tough on safety. Fair punishments would have been accepted, but the NFL and Goodell took it too far. Now they are getting fuught, as it should be. If you teach your kids to be sheep that allow themselves to be accused of anything anyone can make up, then shame on you, and I feel for them.

  52. mdd913 says: May 17, 2012 5:45 PM

    dowhatifeellike says: May 17, 2012 5:26 PM

    The evidence is being withheld to protect the identity or identities of the informant(s). The right of the informant(s) to remain anonymous trumps the right of Vilma (or anyone else) to see the evidence.

    If you don’t like it, take it up with the SCOTUS. I’m sure they’ll make time for you.

    —————————————————-

    Actually, if the evidence in such a case is testimonial in nature, the accused has the right to face his accuser under the 14th amendment.

    And if you don’t like that, take it up with the Constitution of the United States of America.

  53. 28purple4mvp says: May 17, 2012 5:45 PM

    chootem clint chootem oh thats a big one

  54. ericflynt says: May 17, 2012 5:45 PM

    It’s amazing to me how many commenters try to prove their point (that Vilma’s guilty) by using some variation of the phrase “you know” or “we all know” or “everyone knows” he did it. You do realize that’s just a fancy way of saying this is your opinion, right? I mean, imagine that phrase used throughout history:

    “C’mon, Columbus, give it up. We all know the Earth is flat.”

    “Shut the hell up, Witch, everyone knows you turned your husband into a newt!”

    “Members of the jury, why are we even here? You know Mr. Simpson would never do anything like this. Your honor, the defense rests.”

    I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean. You know?

  55. mdd913 says: May 17, 2012 5:46 PM

    28purple4mvp says: May 17, 2012 5:38 PM

    bears and jazz-These are the people that needed solid proof of katrina coming before they left town and never did. Then blame everyone else for all the deaths. Idiot is being pretty nice

    —————————————————————–

    Wow, just wow.

    I’m embarrassed for you right now.

  56. jpb12 says: May 17, 2012 5:51 PM

    This will not fly. Goodell has the legal authority to make this ruling.

    He is the NFL’s judge.

    No real judge is going to allow another judge to be sued.

  57. lilmidas says: May 17, 2012 5:52 PM

    integrity lol what a joke. still waiting for the patriots suspensions to come down. oh wait .. a team cheats …and they had destroyed the physical evidence. now thats integrity!… gotta protect that! hypocrite can wait till this narcissist kicks the bucket because thats the only way the nfl dictator will be removed from office

  58. electionconfidential says: May 17, 2012 5:53 PM

    Ironic that people are complaining that the NFL won’t “release the evidence” against Vilma, but still Vilma is suing for defamation… doesn’t that give the NFL even more reason to never release the evidence??

  59. goodolebaghead says: May 17, 2012 5:54 PM

    You guys are so cute. If you think morals or integrity of the game matter at this point, then you’re in a circlejerk. It’s Law&Order time, and in the end, $7million lost is all that matters to Vilma. He could care less about the public opinion at this point. He spent his whole life preparing for football, you think he is going to walk away from $7million now just to save face?

  60. vetdana says: May 17, 2012 5:55 PM

    I believe this to be a “Grandstand Play ” by Vilma to garner the attention of the Commissioner to possibly reduce his sanctions. Why? 1. Defamation is very costly to pursue 2. Is very difficult to prove 3. May have the opposite affect and further tarnish ones reputation.4 Even if proven, results in very low awards and 5. Has a great many defenses.This could get very ugly and all…….. for very little gain.

  61. addmack24 says: May 17, 2012 5:55 PM

    OK haters, what if it was your team in this situation and you felt that there were too many unanswered questions. New England knows, Goodell destroyed that evidence so he wouldn’t have to answer to congress. Every piece of evidence that he “says” he has, has been twisted or altered in some way. The head investigator overseeing this investigation quit. There are just too many questions that are unanswered that need to be answered. How can you make a decision to suspend a player without even hearing their side of the story? Sure the players were offered a chance to speak to Goodell, but they were told that no evidence would be supplied to them reguarding the charges which they are being punished. I have always been told to not make a decision until you have heard and weighed all of the evidence. It seems that Goodell just wants us to trust him. Sorry I don’t, New England’s fans I know don’t, as soon as he crucifies your team in the name of player safety, you will learn this lesson and I hope that you will realize how much of an douche you are at that point.

  62. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 5:57 PM

    28purple—your totally right. People want proof but only proof that they want to see.

  63. musicman495 says: May 17, 2012 6:01 PM

    28purple4mvp says: May 17, 2012 5:38 PM

    bears and jazz-These are the people that needed solid proof of katrina coming before they left town and never did. Then blame everyone else for all the deaths. Idiot is being pretty nice
    ——————————————–
    Hundreds of thousands evacuated from Katrina, genius, and don’t blame the Saints just because “28purple” could not hold onto the ball.

  64. jason1980 says: May 17, 2012 6:03 PM

    Blah, blah, blah, the usual talking heads. The Saints scare the hell out of you folks on this site. You Goddell slurpers would rather give up your liberty to see the powerhouse Saints suffer, hahahahaha! Eat it haters, the Saints Rule!!!!

  65. musicman495 says: May 17, 2012 6:04 PM

    brenenostler says: May 17, 2012 5:39 PM

    Goodell isn’t out to get the Saints. He wouldn’t have made the suspensions without any evidence.
    ————————–
    This is the “where there is smoke there must be fire ” theory. Now where exactly does that appear in the Constitution again?

  66. suprmous says: May 17, 2012 6:04 PM

    For those of you who dis Jonathan Vilma grow a pair and walk in his shoes. There’s NO proof of him doing anything wrong. However, you can find on any given game day Roddy White, Ray Rice, Clay Matthews, etal who’re self proclaimed Head Hunters going out there doing exactly what Jonathan’s ACCUSED of. The Commish in all of his glory has made it his mission to go after New Orleans because it’s one of the more successful programs in the League along with one of the better coaching staffs less Greg Williams in the League and its clearly a thorn in his side. The Saints came from nothing to being respected and much to everybody’s surprise they couldn’t stand it. The players have gotten respect from many and those who’ve been disgraced by the Commish and others within the confines of the game have been offered testimony in support of them. And from some who have been reported to be on the “bounty/hit list”, i.e. Kurt Warner. I find it hard to believe that for so many people to come across as hypocrites you people can’t see the forest for the trees. You see others doing worse than what the Saints and notable players have been accused of and it’s ok that they do it but yet you go after the Saints and it’s organization with a vengenace. Yes, I come from Nawlns and I’m damned proud of it. I was there thru the Aints years and I’ll be here thru more of the Grait years. I’d like for you to show me proof undeniable proof and not hearsay of what Jonathan and the Saints have done that’s so wrong and I’ll gladly entertain thoughts of taking it into consideration. But as I’d tell GODell you ain’t got proof and when all’s said and done you’re goin to look stupid as hell with embarrassment and your tail tucked between your legs. I be a proud Member of da Who Dat Nation

  67. ericflynt says: May 17, 2012 6:06 PM

    28purple4mvp says:
    May 17, 2012 5:38 PM
    bears and jazz-These are the people that needed solid proof of katrina coming before they left town and never did. Then blame everyone else for all the deaths. Idiot is being pretty nice

    ___________________________

    This is why everyone loves Vikings fans. You’re just so damn classy!

  68. bucfandango says: May 17, 2012 6:07 PM

    My question for the Vilma supporters is: “What is Goodell’s motive for lying, or doing anything to disrupt the smooth even flow and hurt an NFL team?”

    Did Goodell create this whole bounty scandal thing out of thin air? Is it just a figment of his imagination?

    Up until this story broke, Goodell was riding high, with CBA harmony, and looking pretty good as the Chief. I don’t understand why he would create a controversy or attack any team/player without just cause. It doesn’t make sense, and he has absolutely nothing to gain by this. No one in their right mind does this.

  69. trseann says: May 17, 2012 6:07 PM

    mdd913 says:
    May 17, 2012 5:45 PM
    dowhatifeellike says: May 17, 2012 5:26 PM

    The evidence is being withheld to protect the identity or identities of the informant(s). The right of the informant(s) to remain anonymous trumps the right of Vilma (or anyone else) to see the evidence.

    If you don’t like it, take it up with the SCOTUS. I’m sure they’ll make time for you.

    —————————————————-

    Actually, if the evidence in such a case is testimonial in nature, the accused has the right to face his accuser under the 14th amendment.

    And if you don’t like that, take it up with the Constitution of the United States of America.

     ————-/———————-

    I’m sorry but let me know when Vilma is facing jail time. Until then get out of here with that

  70. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 6:10 PM

    Ratedgap- I didn’t raise a lier so yes if my child broke a rule or law they have to pay for it. My daughters 6 and has more integrity and accountability than Vilma, she admits when shes wilting and apologizes for it. It’s not to say she doesn’t make mistakes but she doesnt lie about them. Your rant above is only based on the idea that he didn’t do it and the punishment is unfair because he claims he didn’t do it. Open your eyes, this is like that baseball player who got off because the sample didn’t get FedEx on the day the sample was taken. Let’s look past fact that it’s his DNA with steroids, let’s find a loophole to make the actual evidence in admissible. That’s ally hats happeni here. Vilma is hoping the evidence obtained can be picked apart enough to find a loop hole….that I would never let my daughter do as li as its my choice. By the sounds of it you are exactly what’s wrong worth this whole process

  71. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 6:18 PM

    Supermous—-let’s get one thin straight….the evidence hasn’t been presented for idiots like. That’s doesn’t mean there is no evidence. You people keep saying “there’s no evidence” how do you know. The NFL is not required to show their hand. Now they just might lay the cars on the table but to say for a fact that there is no evidence just proves you’re blinded by your idiocy

  72. ericflynt says: May 17, 2012 6:25 PM

    effedinLA says:
    May 17, 2012 5:32 PM
    If you are not part of the lawsuit are you entitled to see the evidence? Why should the general fan be given access to such private information?

    ——————————————–

    They don’t have to show me the evidence, personally. If they’ll just show the evidence to the accused and an impartial judge/jury, then I’ll stop complaining. Until then, I’m gonna stick with the Constitution.

  73. tabais says: May 17, 2012 6:31 PM

    So people honestly think the Commissioner who is a Lawyer and is the Head of a Billion dollar company with a team of lawyers would really make all this crap up? That he would honestly make any kind of suspension without first making sure that it wouldnt stand up?

    Funny to watch the players and fans complain about the appeals process and how Goodell has too much power! No one stops to look back and see that the PLAYERS agreed with the owners to give him that power. They had a chance less than 12 months ago to take some of that away and get a system that would favor them more but they felt MONEY was more imporant at the time.

  74. radrntn says: May 17, 2012 6:35 PM

    the league is 100% at fault here…trying to be like BSPN and saying the have an unidentified source etc….fact is the NFL needs to state the facts they have, and then and only then can they put this to bed, and move on.

  75. sdave1971 says: May 17, 2012 6:38 PM

    It’s unbelievable that people automatically think that Goodell wouldn’t suspend unless he had absolute proof. I guess these people also believe that a DA wouldn’t prosecute someone unless they were absolutely positive the person was guilty. If this is the case then why do we even need a judicial system? We should just prosecute everyone accussed of a crime because why else would they have been arrested. Goodell may not be completely lying, but he may be looking at the evidence he has and thinking he knows they’re guilty but they are innocent. Happens everyday in court and that is why we have a judicial system.

  76. downdabayou says: May 17, 2012 6:39 PM

    To all you Viqueen, Saint haters, I think Brett threw that interception on purpose, HE IS A MEMBER OF THE WHO DAT NATION, joke was on ya’ll.

  77. infectorman says: May 17, 2012 6:42 PM

    Ba HA HA HAHHAAAHHHAAAHHHAA
    Got some BAD legal advise there, Wilma.

    Not only are you losing your salary, you’re wasting your $$ on filing a law suit.
    Keep racking up those billable hours, Your attorney will be trading in his Porsche 911 for a Ferrari…
    Love those Italian Sports cars, vrrrooommm!!!

    Shudder to think what these overgrown, steroid chompin’ buffoons would do w/o football…

    Oh that’s right, they’d put their SB rings up for auction to keep the crack pipe full….

  78. dowhatifeellike says: May 17, 2012 6:55 PM

    mdd913 says:

    Actually, if the evidence in such a case is testimonial in nature, the accused has the right to face his accuser under the 14th amendment.

    And if you don’t like that, take it up with the Constitution of the United States of America.

    ————————————————

    The NFL is the accuser. The informants are informants. Prosecutors may call witnesses but the identities of their informants are off-limits.

  79. flsnupe says: May 17, 2012 6:59 PM

    insidej0b says:
    May 17, 2012 4:41 PM
    the league says, “blah blah blah…player safety…blah blah blah.”

    show us the evidence.

    122- 71
    ********************************************

    What the hell is wrong with asking to see the evidence? This site is definitely littered with NFL apologists. Show the damn evidence or Roger will be paying out a lot of money. Either way, I am glad a player has the guts to finally stand up to this dictator. I am just shocked at how many of us on here like the status quo.

  80. bucngator says: May 17, 2012 7:01 PM

    Vilma will never play another down in the NFL, and when the rest of the defense has to testify under the threat of perjury, it’s gonna take the whole team down with him!

    If the blind homer Aint’s fans had half-a-brain, they’d realize it….. I guess that just reinforces the fact that anyone choosing to live below sea level can never be accused of being intelligent…

  81. mdd913 says: May 17, 2012 7:17 PM

    mdd913 says:

    Actually, if the evidence in such a case is testimonial in nature, the accused has the right to face his accuser under the 14th amendment.

    And if you don’t like that, take it up with the Constitution of the United States of America.

    ————————————————

    The NFL is the accuser. The informants are informants. Prosecutors may call witnesses but the identities of their informants are off-limits.

    ——————————————————————

    This is simply not true. “Accuser” as laid down by the 14th amendment refers to those who provide testimony as evidence.

  82. jimw81 says: May 17, 2012 7:20 PM

    That’s the can of worms Vilma open, if people in saints organization from owner to waterboy have to testify. he just exposed them to perjury under oath in federal court.

  83. geauxmez says: May 17, 2012 7:22 PM

    who told the saints haters to come back out?

  84. nflsecurity862 says: May 17, 2012 7:26 PM

    Wahhhh! You get caught breaking the rules and you pay the price. Its that simple. Way to be a role model!

  85. ericflynt says: May 17, 2012 7:35 PM

    bucngator says:
    May 17, 2012 7:01 PM
    ….. I guess that just reinforces the fact that anyone choosing to live below sea level can never be accused of being intelligent…

    ——————————————-

    Right, cause Florida…that place never gets hit by disasters…

  86. downdabayou says: May 17, 2012 7:39 PM

    Well “bucngator”, what is your excuse -370HSSV O773H–read it upside down, if you are smart enough without dropping your mother’s computer.

  87. sdave1971 says: May 17, 2012 7:48 PM

    bucngator says:
    May 17, 2012 7:01 PM
    Vilma will never play another down in the NFL, and when the rest of the defense has to testify under the threat of perjury, it’s gonna take the whole team down with him!

    If the blind homer Aint’s fans had half-a-brain, they’d realize it….. I guess that just reinforces the fact that anyone choosing to live below sea level can never be accused of being intelligent…

    —————————————–

    Yeah, because New Orleans is the only place in the United States, or even the world, below see level. Ignorance really is bliss.

  88. cowboyscanada says: May 17, 2012 8:51 PM

    This is making the NFL look really bad! Mickey mouse Saints organization, Goodell a tyrant, sad it has come to this!

  89. kokomike says: May 17, 2012 8:52 PM

    Vilma’s Vignette: A plea for attention by someone unknown outside of the Bayou.

  90. lnfinite says: May 17, 2012 8:55 PM

    Saints fans keep crying for evidence when in fact a person who keeps denying something that others confirmed is just trying to cash in on as much publicity as possible. Is Payton suing? Williams?? Nope they were men and took their punishment.

    All this drama would have ended long ago had the league just ordered the Saints organization to hand over the trophy and put an asterik in its place instead of fines and suspensions.

    Comedic that a fanbase celebrates a championship they won with criminal activity that now 2 years later comes to light.

  91. discosucs2005 says: May 17, 2012 9:12 PM

    @mdd913

    I believe you’re mostly correct, but I don’t know if any of what you’re saying applies to a defamation case. The constitution is referring to criminal accusations I believe.

  92. ratedgap says: May 17, 2012 9:21 PM

    lnfinite says:
    May 17, 2012 8:55 PM
    Saints fans keep crying for evidence when in fact a person who keeps denying something that others confirmed is just trying to cash in on as much publicity as possible. Is Payton suing? Williams?? Nope they were men and took their punishment.

    All this drama would have ended long ago had the league just ordered the Saints organization to hand over the trophy and put an asterik in its place instead of fines and suspensions.

    Comedic that a fanbase celebrates a championship they won with criminal activity that now 2 years later comes to light.

     ———————————————————————————

    Whom confirmed what? The NFL and Goodell accused the Saints of running a bounty system. No one has confirmed this, including Gregg Williams. Also, the coaches are not suing because they have no union to back them up. GASP! They are completely at the mercy of the league, so if they want to coach, they have to accept what was given to them. Don’t understand facts much?

    And what criminal activity are you speaking of? No one is remotely close to being arrested for anything that happened.. So I guess this confirms your inability to deal in facts. Good luck with that.

  93. ahmiller21 says: May 17, 2012 9:26 PM

    Do you remember when the NFL used to actually be about just football? I do. I very much miss those days……

  94. halbert53 says: May 17, 2012 9:27 PM

    I don’t know positively that Vilma is innocent or guilty, but I would be much more willing to accept either outcome if the decision is made in a court of law rather than in the court of public opinion. The NFL is a monopoly that stupidly has been granted anti-trust immunity like other pro sports. Because it is a monopoly, owners, coaches and players are essentially coerced into accepting rules that contradict the U.S. Constitution. Courts have long ruled that public figures (actors, entertainers, athletes, etc.) are subject to fair comment and criticism…which is why we can cuss/discuss players, coached and game officials; but, let a player, coach or owner criticize an official and they get fined. The commissioner levying a fine or suspension, and then hearing any appeal, is a kangaroo court, that violates due process of law. No, this is not a criminal case, but there are labor laws. In regular jobs, the employee has the right to know the charges against them. In short, I don’t Particularly care if Vilma is innocent or guilty but I am glad he filed the lawsuit. The ideal outcome would be revocation of the NFL’s anti-trust exemption that allows the commissioner to act with impunity.

  95. thejuddstir says: May 17, 2012 9:38 PM

    This has got sooooo freakin pathetic, the Taints* have been making a mockery of the NFL and it’s time to bring the damn hammer down. All this whining and crying and asking for explanations, apologizing but not meaning it, offering to take responsibility but doing nothing to prove it, accepting the punishment but then bitchin’ in the media, saving a seat for Payton (like the fool died or something, LMAO), Payton claiming to rent an office next to Taints practice facility that just happens to be owned by Tom Benson and yet Payton is to have NO contact for the year, worthless state legislature has nothing better to do (like jobs, health care, education etc) to waste time passing a stupid recommendation….blah blah blah…..I’m sick of it all. Send the freakin franchise to L.A. and tell the players if they open their stupid mouths again that they will be suspended another year for violation of Player Conduct policy. A terrible team in a terrible city in a terrible state and all this after the entire NFL and it’s fans bent over backwards for this pathetic team after Katrina.

  96. jason1980 says: May 17, 2012 9:46 PM

    @infinite…..you are an idiot of the highest order. Rant if you will, carry on about your “asterisk” fixation until hell freezes over, SUPERBOWL CHAMPS 2009 – NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. Get over it, suckers!

  97. jason1980 says: May 17, 2012 10:07 PM

    And you “thejuddshat”‘, what can we say, envy much! THE SAINTS RULE, baby!!!!!! Get over it, hater!

  98. ilovefoolsball says: May 17, 2012 10:16 PM

    lnfinite says:
    May 17, 2012 8:55 PM
    Saints fans keep crying for evidence when in fact a person who keeps denying something that others confirmed is just trying to cash in on as much publicity as possible. Is Payton suing? Williams?? Nope they were men and took their punishment.

    All this drama would have ended long ago had the league just ordered the Saints organization to hand over the trophy and put an asterik in its place instead of fines and suspensions.

    Comedic that a fanbase celebrates a championship they won with criminal activity that now 2 years later comes to light.
    ______
    I now know what your name stands for, infinite stupidity. You cannot be serious with this pile of dog poop you’ve presented as text.
    The coaches didn’t appeal because THEY HAVE NO UNION GENIUS! They are the NFL, it would be like Goodell suspending someone in the front office, there is no recourse.
    PAYTON AND VITT DID APPEAL.
    Yeah you can laugh all you want, the Saints are Superbowl Champions for that year and no amount of bile that you spew will change that.

  99. jeziyo247 says: May 17, 2012 10:56 PM

    Vilma is just making things a lot worst for him, just accept your punishment and move on. Obviously the league found significant evidence on him to hit him hard for the whole season otherwise they would have took it lightly on him too. Goodel is not out to get anybody, he’s just inforceing the rules and if you break them, you get disciplined. Most jobs you get fired and ineligible to ever work for that company, he’s just suspended for a year, im sure he has plenty of money to get by unless he wastes it on legal fees.

  100. mdd913 says: May 17, 2012 11:07 PM

    sdave1971 says: May 17, 2012 7:48 PM

    bucngator says:
    May 17, 2012 7:01 PM
    Vilma will never play another down in the NFL, and when the rest of the defense has to testify under the threat of perjury, it’s gonna take the whole team down with him!

    If the blind homer Aint’s fans had half-a-brain, they’d realize it….. I guess that just reinforces the fact that anyone choosing to live below sea level can never be accused of being intelligent…

    —————————————–

    Yeah, because New Orleans is the only place in the United States, or even the world, below see level. Ignorance really is bliss.
    ————————————————————–

    Yeah, no kidding. Don’t you just love it when the bigots come out to play?

  101. themonster49 says: May 18, 2012 12:21 AM

    Florio:

    1. Wasn’t Roger Goodell speaking for the NFL?

    2. If it were a DA speaking for a DA’s Office, would you sue the DA for defamation or the DA’s Office?

    3. If it turns out Vilma is guilty, can we sue him for abusing our legal system and lying to us and falsely accusing others?

  102. youallrfools says: May 18, 2012 1:03 AM

    @bucfandago – thats what I’ve been saying from the beginning of all this. Why would Goddell make these claims without evidence? Hes basically the most visible CEO on the planet, it makes no sense for him to lie on such a scale. Reasonable people understand this, but this isn’t a site filled with reason.

    I’m curious to what all the Saints fans blindlessly defending these criminals will say if they have to crawl back with their tails between their legs if the NFL decides to release their findings. I see 0 reasons for the NFL to do so, and many reasons to not – first and foremost to protect the informants.

  103. ksm31311 says: May 18, 2012 1:44 AM

    CBA will take precedence and Vilma’s lawsuit will be kicked back to the grievance process…

  104. trooper586 says: May 18, 2012 1:49 AM

    I’m tired of players not taking responsibility for their actions. (i didn’t take roids, it wasn’t me, I didn’t know what someone put in my body, the test taker was wrong…). Vilma, you’re a leader of the team, lead by example and be a stand up guy. Perhaps you have been lying to yourself long enough where you believe it. Lying is not leading. I’m disappointed in you. Goodell wouldn’t just suspend a guy for a year without cause. He is smarter than that. I don’t believe you Vilma!

  105. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 1:53 AM

    Anyone who’s not a Saints fan think Goodell is setting them up?

  106. warrenpeacephotography says: May 18, 2012 2:32 AM

    ejmat2 says:
    May 17, 2012 4:46 PM

    “Do people honestly believe the league would take the chance to suspend these players without actual evidence? ”

    YES, that is exactly what I believe. Goodell is an authoritarian dictator, and he will do what he wants regardless of evidence. Look at the Redskins and Cowboys salary cap fiasco. Goodell has a history of acting unilaterally, with or without rational reason.

    “If so, the Goodell needs to be fired without delay. ”

    This is what I’ve been saying for years! Goodell is bad for the game of football and needs to be removed immediately!

  107. ericflynt says: May 18, 2012 8:17 AM

    youallrfools says:
    May 18, 2012 1:03 AM

    I’m curious to what all the Saints fans blindlessly defending these criminals will say if they have to crawl back with their tails between their legs if the NFL decides to release their findings.

    ———————————————-

    And I’m curious how the “Guilty because he said so” crowd is gonna react if the Saints are proven innocent (or wildly less guilty). Actually, strike that, I’m not curious. I know how you’ll react. You just won’t comment on those threads. The lynch mob never apologizes. They just slither home and blame the authority figures they blindly followed.

  108. ericflynt says: May 18, 2012 8:21 AM

    trooper586 says:
    May 18, 2012 1:49 AM

    Goodell wouldn’t just suspend a guy for a year without cause. He is smarter than that. I don’t believe you Vilma!

    ——————————————-

    The great thing is, Vilma’s not asking you to believe him. He’s asking for proof in court. Goodell’s the only one here asking for blind trust and the only one who’s been caught lying (about every piece of evidence he’s released). Vilma’s started a process that he knows should end with the truth being released, whatever that is. Goodell is trying to avoid that at all costs. Only one of them is acting guilty.

  109. flsnupe says: May 18, 2012 9:10 AM

    youallrfools says:
    May 18, 2012 1:03 AM
    @bucfandago – thats what I’ve been saying from the beginning of all this. Why would Goddell make these claims without evidence? Hes basically the most visible CEO on the planet, it makes no sense for him to lie on such a scale. Reasonable people understand this, but this isn’t a site filled with reason.

    I’m curious to what all the Saints fans blindlessly defending these criminals will say if they have to crawl back with their tails between their legs if the NFL decides to release their findings. I see 0 reasons for the NFL to do so, and many reasons to not – first and foremost to protect the informants.
    ***************************************
    You use the word “blindlessly”, yet you take Goodells word without challenge. smh Hypocrite in action.

  110. pizzon says: May 18, 2012 10:03 PM

    if Goodell wants to put this to bed he needs to just pony up this evidence that he supposedly has, but being the obnoxious idiot that he is, will cost him beecause I for one dont think he has any evidence except what he was told by somebody else. I thought this guy was a lawyer the only thing that matters in a courtroom is what you can prove. as for his superficial concern for player safety Goodell and the owners are about the bottom line and nothing else otherwise they wouldnt be attempting to add 2 more gms to an already grueling schedule.

  111. suprmous says: May 20, 2012 2:31 AM

    bearsandjazz, I do know for a fact that there is NO evidence and even if I didn’t know all I would have to do’s look at some facts: the Saints Organization has risen above the early years to become of the better Organizations in the League todate, unbeknowest to a lot of folks there has been a steady stream of visits from one particular owner tryin his damnest to get Sean to join his staff and has been overheard by those he has no idea who is that he’ll destroy the Saints and Sean before he takes no for an answer again, there’s players from other teams who are self proclaimed headhunters who make it known that they’re always out to destroy their opponents career, and the list goes on. You and the other dissers of the Saints are willin to crucify them but yet it’s fine well and damned dandy if the likes of the Dirty Birds, the Ravens, etc go out and do just what the Saints are accused of. You’re such hypocrites. Yep you’re willin to go out and condem without proof and when there’s none to be seen you’re willin to be judge jury and executioner as well. I don’t know about you but I can watch a game with the Dirty Birds or the Ravens and I don’t have to cut up the volume on my TV to know that Roddy White or Ray Rice is hollerin smack at the top of their lungs, whereas you never hear anybody from New Orleans be as vocal. If I had all of the $$ from the fines that needed to be (those that have never been called) levied against just the 2 I mentioned I could comfrontably retire and live for the rest of my life. And hell I’m just 59. I do have friends that play for other teams as well and they agree as well that GODell has done his best to make the lives of those who’re involved with the Saints in any shape form or fashion on the inside a livin nitemare. You just have to wonder how quick it’s goin to take him to apologize to Sean and the rest of the Saints’ Organization. Once he gets thru that apology he’s goin to have to move onto the Who Dat Nation and I figure he won’t come out very well. But hey, who am I to say; I’m just a female who loves her football.

  112. infectorman says: May 21, 2012 1:08 PM

    Isn’t the whole “whodat” thing over by now?
    Seriously…

    The Saints have lost MANY games since the 09′ SB, so if you keep saying “whodat”, All anyone has to do is say: “well, most recently, the SF 49ers, before that the Rams and before the Buccaneers and before that the Packers, ” etc, etc, etc/….

    Let it go people….It was over 3 years ago now

  113. sb44champs says: May 23, 2012 2:19 PM

    Let it go people….It was over 3 years ago now
    ———————————————-
    Sounds like your the one that won’t let ‘it’ go, lol! LOSER!!

  114. mark916 says: May 24, 2012 6:29 PM

    Dont forget the seahags and Lynches “Beast Mode”!! Its a witch hunt and Goodell is setting a bad prescedent by denouncing the players for just being football guys. This is the way the game has always been played. Goodell sucks.

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