Skip to content

Vilma: Bounty allegations tarnish image forever

Jonathan Vilma AP

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who has left today’s bounty hearings and said he won’t return, said the league’s allegations have been trying for him on a personal level.

“Roger Goodell has taken three months to tarnish what I’ve built over eight years of my career,” Vilma said, according to Jim Varney of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “And it’s tough to swallow knowing that from here on out no matter where I go from here on out I’ll be forever linked to a ‘bounty-gate’ that’s simply not true.”

Vilma said Monday’s short appearance in front of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was professional, but still think the hearing lacked a fundamental fairness.

“Well, you’re basing that on the fact it would be a fair process,” Vilma said when asked about his decision to not speak. “And I don’t know how you’d get a fair process when you have a judge, jury and executioner. He’s made a ruling, he’s obviously going to stick by that ruling. And it’s hard to go into that process assuming it’s going to be fair. You have to assume that it’s not.

“Everyone will have their opinions on it, and everyone will either believe me or not believe me, there’s no in-between.”

Again, the issue of belief will come down to what evidence the league discloses, or when or whether they do. This one is far from over. Stay tuned.

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill
41 Responses to “Vilma: Bounty allegations tarnish image forever”
  1. acdc84 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:04 PM

    Yes Jonathan, you’re correct. Your participation in the bounty programs does tarnish your image. You probably should have thought about that a years ago.

  2. effjohntaylornorelation says: Jun 18, 2012 1:06 PM

    Didn’t the CBA the players approved call for exactly this system?

  3. jmphinsfan says: Jun 18, 2012 1:06 PM

    Vilma is 100% right- whether or not you believe he was or wasnt involved to any degree, he will forever be linked to Bounties in the NFL.

    Even if he exonerated (unlikely) he will still be remembered 10 yrs from now as being linked to the scandal.

    will be an interesting to see what comes of the Saints players that become Hall of Fame eligible in the coming years- like the baseball writers question the steroid era, you’ve got to wonder what impact this will have on their HOF votes.

  4. farty5 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:08 PM

    If he’s so concerned about his image why does he duck out of the appeals process he demanded?

  5. mornelithe says: Jun 18, 2012 1:11 PM

    You had multiple chances to speak your case to Goodell and chose not to. You could’ve clarified the entire situation on your own terms, and chose note to. That’s entirely your fault Mr. Vilma.

    It’s truly a tragedy if your name has been tarnished because of statements taken out of context, however, that tragedy loses a great deal of severity, if you opted not to defend yourself multiple times and simply wrote the whole thing off as an unfair process. Because hey, the league has never, ever, reduced a penalty, right?

  6. captainwisdom8888 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:13 PM

    Vilma is a heck of a LB, and his contributions to that defense are immense. This bountygate BS will do nothing to change my opinion of this highly talented player.

  7. bigjdve says: Jun 18, 2012 1:15 PM

    Your right your legacy has been tarnished. However there are so many things that you could’ve said that would’ve limited that tarnish.

    However you have chosen the “You don’t have proof” defense. Which in and of itself speaks volumes.

    Take the suspension, come back and play well and people will likely forgive and forget, and you will be fine.

  8. akhhorus says: Jun 18, 2012 1:15 PM

    Vilma can take this to an indy arbitrator. And a full panel of them if he doesn’t like that ruling. This is all grandstanding, he knows that he can’t win those hearings.

  9. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jun 18, 2012 1:23 PM

    “Roger Goodell has taken three months to tarnish what I’ve built over eight years of my career,”
    ____________________________

    You should be used to after what happened in Miami.

  10. grndizzle says: Jun 18, 2012 1:31 PM

    Is this the same Vilma that was getting cash payments from the Ponzi scheme booster at the U? Or is it the same Vilma who’s tenant was murdered in his NYC condo over some Nigerian money washing scam?

    He’s worried about his image?

  11. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    Didn’t the CBA the players approved call for exactly this system?

    No.

    I haven’t read the entire CBA (and neither have you) but collective bargaining agreements always have a clause calling for both sides to act in good faith.

    Goodell and the owners have not acted in good faith and frankly, it’s time for the NFLPA to file a lawsuit. There’s no other way.

  12. 49erstim says: Jun 18, 2012 1:45 PM

    Posturing and grandstanding is all this is. They all turned down opportunities to meet with Goodell BEFORE he delivered his verdict and chose not to do so. They tried to ignore him in hopes the situation would blow over. It did not. Now they all release statements about how unfair the system is and that they’ve been disparaged and had their reputations tarnished. Boo who!

    The CBA…. Anybody else remember that during the lockout that the players were gonna take Commish down a few pegs and retool the system to be more “fair”? I think in their haste to get back to work they forgot to actually DO that. Great job DeMoron! Way to leave the players high and dry. The PA was outclassed from the word GO. lol

  13. theralph2012 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:46 PM

    This mans image was tarnished the day he signed his letter of intent to play in Coral Gables, just like every other criminal degenerate who wore the green and orange.

  14. geauxmez says: Jun 18, 2012 1:46 PM

    Vilma is till a hero of mine. and when he overcomes these adversities; he will be an even greater hero. WHO DAT

  15. silentcount says: Jun 18, 2012 1:49 PM

    The system should provide a fair way to find the truth. It’s obvious that Goodell’s only concern is to proclaim the Saints guilty of something without any chance for that to be disputed. If the so called evidence doesn’t prove his case, then all suspensions should be lifted. No matter what, unfair business practices can always be challenged. It happens every day in courts all across the USA. It shouldn’t come to that, but Goodell’s abusive actions will insist upon it.

  16. bullcharger says: Jun 18, 2012 1:51 PM

    If you listen to any old school coach there has always been an unofficial cash payment system for the role player kind of guys where people give them cash for big plays. hits, catches or whatever.

    Paying guys small sums of money isn’t a big deal to me. I don’t see how it is different than a QB buying watches for his o-linemen.

    The unique part of this bounty scandal to me was the intent to injure. That’s the truly shocking part.

    If it were me, I would blame the whole scandal on the coaches, as someone like Vilma is just doing what is asked of him. He also didn’t necessarily go out there and try to injure guys just because that is what Williams said.

    I think Vilma’s suspension is overkill.

  17. daveman8403 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:53 PM

    akhhorus says:
    Jun 18, 2012 1:15 PM
    Vilma can take this to an indy arbitrator. And a full panel of them if he doesn’t like that ruling. This is all grandstanding, he knows that he can’t win those hearings.

    ——————————————————————————————————

    What are you talking about?! No he can’t.

  18. daveman8403 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:55 PM

    farty5 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 1:08 PM
    If he’s so concerned about his image why does he duck out of the appeals process he demanded?

    ——————————————————————————————————-

    Maybe because the “appeal” is total BS.

  19. CKL says: Jun 18, 2012 1:56 PM

    See this is what kills me. If Goodell is violating the procedures set down by the CBA , I get why the players would be angry. And they would deserve to take it to whoever they needed to in order to ensure compliance. But they don’t want to adhere to the procedures allowed by the system THEY ratified and they want to complain? They want to say they didn’t have enough time with the materials when the NFL handed them over EXACLY as stipulated? Cry me a river, guys.
    One of the things I learned about the CBA last year is that courts are EXTREMELY reluctant to get involved with deciding things vis a vis a current labor agreement between a union and an employer because most times the agreement takes precedence over law. Weren’t these players, especially the union reps, paying attention to ANYTHING that happened last summer?????? It affects THEIR livelihood for crying out loud.

  20. robf2010 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    “Even if he exonerated (unlikely) he will still be remembered 10 yrs from now as being linked to the scandal.”

    This thing will be thoroughly forgotten in 3 years. Lots of smoke, no fire.

  21. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 18, 2012 1:59 PM

    When you start out looking like a mouth breathing moron and your image gets damaged, you’ve really hit bottom.

  22. dannyabramowitz says: Jun 18, 2012 2:01 PM

    To those complaining about the Saints players wanting some fairness in the hearings on their suspensions, consider this:

    Suppose your boss called you in to his office and told you that you were being suspended without pay for a year because you sexually harassed female co-employees. You insisted it wasn’t true and demanded to know who was making the accusations and what is the evidence. Your boss tells you don’t worry I have the evidence, but you can’t see it. You ask if you have the right to appeal and your boss says yes, but I will hear the appeal. You ask if you can see the evidence before the appeal so you know what you’re being accused of, and your boss says no you can’t.

    Then your boss calls a press conference where he identifies you to the world as a sexual harasser and let’s everyone know you’ve been suspended for a year without pay. He says this shows the company’s commitment to women’s rights, and that those lawsuits filed by former female employers against the company have no merit.

    You realize then that you will probably never be hired again.

    Would you be okay with that? Because that is exactly what is happening to Vilma.

  23. dannyabramowitz says: Jun 18, 2012 2:02 PM

    To those who ask what is Goodell’s motivation, it’s this: he is grandstanding so, in response to the concussion lawsuits, he can maintain nothing is more important to the NFL than player safety, see what I did to the Saints players.

    He did the exact same thing in the StarCaps case. The players who were suspended ACTUALLY CALLED THE NFL before they took StarCaps to make sure it was okay and the NFL told them that it was fine. Then the NFL suspended them so Goodell could grandstand on steroids.

    Same thing with Rothlisberger who, not only was not convicted of anything, he WASN’T EVEN CHARGED. Yet there was grandstanding Goodell suspending Rothlisberger for 6 games.

    Goodell is a grandstanding PR hack. It is extremely dangerous for such a person to have absolute power. He doesn’t do what’s fair, he does what he thinks makes him look good.

    To those who say that the players bargained for this in the CBA, are you saying that Goodell could suspend Aaron Rodgers for a year because Rodgers wore a green shirt and Goodell doesn’t like green shirts? If Goodell has absolute power over all off-the-field conduct like you say, then Goodell has this power, and there’s not a thing Rodgers could do about it.

    There has to be some court review of the NFL’s disciplinary process to ensure some fundamental fairness.

  24. dawsonleery says: Jun 18, 2012 2:05 PM

    You are responsible for your own actions, Jonathan.

  25. phillywulf says: Jun 18, 2012 2:06 PM

    These crybabies have got to stop. It’s not the NFL’s fault that their Union didn’t think to argue for a different method. Instead of just attacking the NFL they should be, as should all players just what the hell they are paying the Union management for. Right now it looks like all the Union wants to do is cause strife. It’s in all parties interests to get along before you kill the enjoyment of the sport with your crybaby attitudes.

  26. jjbadd says: Jun 18, 2012 2:12 PM

    Vilma is right:
    Goodell: “guilty..suspended for 1 season”
    Vilma: “I’d like to ask you to reconsider?”
    Goodell: “okay..ummmm guilty suspended for 1 season”
    ….What total bullsh!t to even think its a fair process, & I can’t stand the Saints! Goodell is ruining the NFL, slowly but surely..

  27. steelersmichele says: Jun 18, 2012 2:20 PM

    Pete rose comes to mind here. He denied and denied the accusations against him and accepted a lifetime ban rather than have the evidence released to the public. Then he came out later and admitted to betting on baseball.

    Hope Vilma is telling the truth. If not, and he keeps denying the charges, he should be banned for life.

  28. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 18, 2012 2:21 PM

    49erstim says: Anybody else remember that during the lockout that the players were gonna take Commish down a few pegs and retool the system to be more “fair”? I think in their haste to get back to work they forgot to actually DO that. Great job DeMoron!

    If you’re going to mock anyone, mock Gene Upshaw. He’s the one that gave Goodell unlimited power in an overreaction to what was going on with PacMan Jones five years ago.

    I will give Goodell credit, he maneuvered the negotiations in a way that made it difficult to cut back on his powers, much like any accomplished dictator would.

  29. CKL says: Jun 18, 2012 2:23 PM

    @ dannyabramowicz
    Is my workplace unionized and do we have a collectively bargained agreement with the employer on how this like that are to be handled?
    Most office workers are not unionized so they don’t labor under a CBA, whole different scenario. Their recourse is EEOC laws if they don’t agree with their company’s procedures.

  30. eaglesw00t says: Jun 18, 2012 2:26 PM

    dannyabramowitz says:
    Jun 18, 2012 2:01 PM
    To those complaining about the Saints players wanting some fairness in the hearings on their suspensions, consider this:

    Suppose your boss called you in to his office and told you that you were being suspended without pay for a year because you sexually harassed female co-employees. You insisted it wasn’t true and demanded to know who was making the accusations and what is the evidence. Your boss tells you don’t worry I have the evidence, but you can’t see it. You ask if you have the right to appeal and your boss says yes, but I will hear the appeal. You ask if you can see the evidence before the appeal so you know what you’re being accused of, and your boss says no you can’t.

    Then your boss calls a press conference where he identifies you to the world as a sexual harasser and let’s everyone know you’ve been suspended for a year without pay. He says this shows the company’s commitment to women’s rights, and that those lawsuits filed by former female employers against the company have no merit.

    You realize then that you will probably never be hired again.

    Would you be okay with that? Because that is exactly what is happening to Vilma.

    ———————————————-

    90% of the US workforce didnt vote on a collective bargaining agreement. And we didnt agree to have a comissioner, because we dont operate in the same business model that the NFL does.

    Nice try, but your example is pretty far out of touch with reality. I understand you feel for these players, but you are out in left field. And we arent even playing baseball here.

  31. Ghost Rat says: Jun 18, 2012 2:50 PM

    Sorry Jonathan, but your reputation already sucked. The fact that you chose to engage in an illegal practice just contributes to an already negative image.

  32. gbmickey says: Jun 18, 2012 2:57 PM

    Being a Packer fan i have a vested interest in this because of the signing of Hargrove but I side with Goodell on this. You have to be delusional with your head stuck in the sand to argue and continually whine about it.

  33. 93warchant says: Jun 18, 2012 3:17 PM

    Jonathan vilma vs the shield … this was a done deal the minute he was suspended … im not saying he isnt right he has a point, But hes trying to fight a lion with bare knuckles .

  34. 49erstim says: Jun 18, 2012 3:30 PM

    @butthatmakestoomuchsense….. I didn’t blame Upshaw for the old CBA because DeMoron helped negotiate the new one. players (read as James Harrison) were POed about the power the league (read as ALL 32 owners) gave Ol Rog. They made it a media talking point bragging about chipping away at his power. Then when zero hour approached and the players were gonna start losing money they panicked. You see… All DeMoron and his lackies know is posturing and grandstanding for attention. When it came down to it they were outclassed at the bargaining table.

  35. humpofdc says: Jun 18, 2012 3:37 PM

    How can Vilam win. Goodell (GODdell) is the judge, jury, and executioner! How can you appeal to him? Vilma, stick with the court case and I hope you win because the whole system is FOUL and STINKS!

  36. ernie ernie says: Jun 18, 2012 3:38 PM

    Vilma is just sorry he got caught. Didn’t hear any testimony on how he was outraged at his coaches for instituting a bounty or how he turned them in as a team leader.
    He gladly participated and now wants us to think his halo been tainted by the NFL.

  37. ernie ernie says: Jun 18, 2012 3:44 PM

    This may be a shocker but the union must stand by players, even when they know the players are wrong. IF not the players would bolt the union and all those dues wouldn’t be collected.

    What a joke. The NFL didn’t turn over the evidence. No they didn’t turn over the bullets, just the gun. They are holding the bullets which is ironclad testimony and written documentation. Of which the accused players know about and know the NFL has it.

  38. ernie ernie says: Jun 18, 2012 3:45 PM

    Wonder why Sharpton and Jesse Jackson haven’t stepped in and accused the NFL of ruining a black mans career?

  39. jpmelon says: Jun 18, 2012 3:48 PM

    The system is not inherently fair and it doesn’t have to be. That is what many people are failing to understand. The CBA has language in it that gives the commissioner these powers.

    This is not the US judicial system. This is the NFL and if a player doesn’t want to have to deal with the system, then they can play in the CFL or UFL.

    I don’t blame Vilma for trying to improve his current situation, but it is pretty much a proven fact that Vilma offered money for a hit to take a player out of the game. Whether he meant it or not isn’t something that can be proven. What can be proven; is that Vilma doesn’t take the NFL’s safety initiative seriously, and that is grounds for discipline.

  40. takingbovadasmoney says: Jun 18, 2012 5:39 PM

    Simple. Charge Vilma criminally for his actions. If the NFL has no evidence as he and Fujita say they walk. If not they get the Donte Stallworth bs parole sentence.

  41. brenenostler says: Jun 19, 2012 1:53 AM

    Vilma, the only thing that tarnished your image forever is your participation in the bounty program.

Leave a Reply

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