As a result of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s dismissal of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s defamation claims regarding ‘bountygate’, the suspended Vilma has amended his lawsuit against the commissioner and the league. Vilma has stated that his suspension is without merit and Goodell has made false public comments that have damaged the player’s reputation and hurt his ability to make a living. Vilma asked a federal judge in New Orleans to overturn his suspension as well as issue a preliminary injunction, thus allowing Vilma to work while the case is pending.
Although Goodell’s motion states that Vilma’s claims are barred by dispute resolution procedures outlined by the NFL’s CBA, attorney Peter Ginsburg, representing Vilma, points out otherwise.
“Mr. Goodell cannot escape responsibility for those public statements based on an argument that statements in a different forum and in a different context might have been avoided judicial scrutiny,” Ginsberg said via email. “Having the title of ‘Commissioner’ does not provide Mr. Goodell with a license to make the accusations and allegations he has made against Jonathan in public forums without facing the same scrutiny as other citizens.”
Vilma is seeking an immediate injunction so that he may continue to rehabilitate a knee injury at Saints Headquarters.
If the commissioner didn’t have enough on his plate as he deals with a lawsuit against him by the Players Association, it’s apparent that Jonathan Vilma, being represented independently, will not be accepting his suspension quietly.
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Sports-Kings NFL Contributor – Austin Peat