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Vilma asks court to remove Goodell from appeal process

Roger Goodell AP

Though Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma ultimately hopes to secure a reversal of his bounty suspension, Vilma remains willing to proceed with the internal appeal process — as long as Commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t the person handling the appeal.

As part of Vilma’s latest filing in federal court, Vilma asks that Judge Helen Berrigan disqualify Goodell and appoint an independent arbitrator.

The argument arises from the legal requirement that a private arbitrator be impartial.  Rather than waiting for Goodell to issue a decision that later would be attacked as impartial, Vilma wants an impartial arbitrator to be appointed now.

It’s not clear whether the Federal Arbitration Act contemplates direct judicial involvement in a private arbitration before the arbitration has ended.  Instead, it’s possible that Judge Berrigan will simply tell the NFL to proceed at its own risk — and that she possibly will overturn the entire suspension if she believes that Goodell wasn’t impartial.

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25 Responses to “Vilma asks court to remove Goodell from appeal process”
  1. thetechnocrat says: Oct 15, 2012 2:36 PM

    The government can’t and shouldn’t be able to directly change a single company’s policies or procedures.

    Then again we are socialist now so bring on the communism tovarish!!!

  2. brenenostler says: Oct 15, 2012 2:39 PM

    Is that even legal? Probably not

  3. kingmj4891 says: Oct 15, 2012 2:40 PM

    Vilma really is scum. Be a man and take your penalty.

  4. andrewfbrowne says: Oct 15, 2012 2:45 PM

    I am fed up just like everyone else with this stuff, but this latest round of legal filings got me to thinking, I cannot think of any other career choice where an employer does not have the right or rather control of the process to discipline its employees. An independent entity to determine if appeals are valid, I cannot think of such a thing anywhere else. I know it is not outside of realm of possibility, but I cannot think of any other walk of life where that is the case. Does anyone out there have an example for me? I have been a teacher, an asset manager, and worked for large and small businesses. I can’t think of one.

  5. bigjdve says: Oct 15, 2012 2:52 PM

    I can’t wait for this whole process to be over. It is just a waste of time and money.

  6. panamon says: Oct 15, 2012 2:53 PM

    What a joke, the punished guy doesn’t want somebody who based on facts and testimony knows of wrongdoing answering the appeal.

    All Vilma is doing is proving he has no answer to what he’s accused of. Everybody is wrong except him, and yet HE’S complaining about impartiality.

  7. twisteditoff says: Oct 15, 2012 2:55 PM

    according to the Federal CBA granting Goodell measure to punish his players within the confines of the NFLPA and NFLA CBA rights, as long as he does not step outside of his boundaries as a arbitrator he can punish his players however he sees fit. This is not about a bounty case, that’s been proven, this is now about Vilma accusing Goodell of overstepping his bounds as an arbitrator, which the NFLPA signed the CBA granting him exclusivity in player sanctions. Read the law,

  8. williambrasky says: Oct 15, 2012 3:03 PM

    Vilma is asking for RG to be removed because he feels a third party could find a punishment to fit the crime. If the evidence points that Vilma has done such bad things, the third party could possibly come to the same conclusion. RG does have an agenda, just as JV does.

  9. fflnick says: Oct 15, 2012 3:09 PM

    A judge can’t and should not change a collectively bargained CBA that governs this.

  10. mrpowers88 says: Oct 15, 2012 3:17 PM

    I don’t even see how he wasn’t impartial the first time through. The players didn’t take part- and didn’t provide any contradicting evidence- so Goodell upheld the suspensions then.

    I secretly hope that this lawsuit makes the CBA invalid, so when the PA comes to the league thinking they’re in control, they get locked out. The PA would overplay its hand, and the league would just yank the carpet out form under them and actually teach them something. Extreme, yes, but if PA members are going outside of a 10-year labor deal 2 years in, they don’t deserve this deal that let them play to begin with

  11. wolfmanpatriot says: Oct 15, 2012 3:19 PM

    I cannot think of any other career choice where an employer does not have the right or rather control of the process to discipline its employees.
    ====================
    Vilma does not work for goodell or the NFL. He works for the owner of the Saints, who also has a little battle going with Goodell.

  12. tabdanger says: Oct 15, 2012 4:21 PM

    wolfmanpatriot Vilma works for the owner of the Saints who along with 31 other teams employ Goodell. The owner of the Saints is a co owner of the NFL, so in actuality Vilma is employed by the NFL.

  13. addmack24 says: Oct 15, 2012 4:26 PM

    If Goodell isn’t delivering a fair decision then it whould be taken out of his hands. I don’t see it as being fair that he has changed the charges so many times I forget what the actual issue was. I mean come on man, nothing about this has been fair. All the suspensions have been overboard to the extreme. Goodell has yet to show any valid proof of anything against Vilma so I don’t see how anyone can say take your punishment, there is no actual proof showing he did any of the things he is being accused. Two ex-employees that didn’t leave on good terms should not be credible witnesses, but it’s good enough for Roger.

  14. realfann says: Oct 15, 2012 4:26 PM

    @twisteditoff

    Nice try but no bounty program has been proven.

    In fact it has been dis proven.

    All that has been established is a pay for performance system which has been run in many locker rooms throughout the NFL for decades. Not just the Saints.

  15. njphin says: Oct 15, 2012 4:26 PM

    “I cannot think of any other career choice where an employer does not have the right or rather control of the process to discipline its employees.”

    Any employer that gives you a contract is bound to certain obligations…If they believe you’ve done something wrong and fire or suspend you without any kind of proof they will get sued.. If you work at shopright on the other hand they can pretty much do what they want with you.

  16. wvugrad00 says: Oct 15, 2012 4:29 PM

    I am so tired of these players bitching about the power of the commishioner. If they don’t like the process they have noone to blame but themselves. This topic should have been brough up during the CBA, and not a single signature on the document until the process was changed.

    leave this out of the courts, this is collectivly barganded, and tough if you dont like what you and your union signed off on.

    I hope Vilma gets suspended for all 16 games after all of this

  17. majbobby says: Oct 15, 2012 4:52 PM

    So the players sign the CBA which gives Godell this power now want the courts to overturn it. Typical.

  18. denverdude7 says: Oct 15, 2012 5:20 PM

    Goodell should be removed fron the NFL period.

  19. daaabears says: Oct 15, 2012 7:25 PM

    After Vilma loses this fight, he should have to pay all lawyers fees and court costs.

  20. sixjak says: Oct 15, 2012 10:28 PM

    And I ask Goodell to remove Vilma from the NFL.

  21. acdc84 says: Oct 15, 2012 10:34 PM

    Dear Jonathan,

    Please go away.

    Sincerely,

    Every NFL fan minus NO homers.

  22. pharmnetrx says: Oct 15, 2012 11:29 PM

    daaabears says:
    Oct 15, 2012 7:25 PM
    After Vilma loses this fight, he should have to pay all lawyers fees and court costs.
    ——————————-

    I’m pretty sure his lawyer ain’t working for free, and a couple hundred thousand is probably chump change to a veteran player like vilma.

  23. gerttownmomo says: Oct 16, 2012 12:13 AM

    tabdanger says: Oct 15, 2012 4:21 PM

    wolfmanpatriot Vilma works for the owner of the Saints who along with 31 other teams employ Goodell. The owner of the Saints is a co owner of the NFL, so in actuality Vilma is employed by the NFL.

    ==============

    wrong, wrong, wrong. the supreme court has already ruled that the nfl is 31 individual corporations. google is your friend.

  24. gtodriver says: Oct 16, 2012 8:26 AM

    realfann says:

    “Nice try but no bounty program has been proven.

    In fact it has been dis proven.”

    The Judge that is presiding over Vilma’s appeal has already issued a statement that what Vilma has admitted to constitutes a bounty program.

    So, in fact, Vilma has already admitted to being involved in the NO Saints bounty program.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your misguided opinions…

  25. gtodriver says: Oct 16, 2012 8:31 AM

    gerttownmomo says:

    “wrong, wrong, wrong. the supreme court has already ruled that the nfl is 31 individual corporations. google is your friend.”

    Google may be your friend, but it doesn’t change the fact that Roger Goodell is an employee of the 32 NFL team owners.

    He serves at their pleasure and they have put him in charge of player discipline for the players that they employee.

    Roger Goodell is the person that has been given the power, both by the NFLPA through the collective bargaining agreement and the actual employers of the players.

    As stated in my post above – don’t let the facts get in the way of your misguided opinions….

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