Things Are Getting a Bit More Interesting On the Bounty Front – The back and forth between the League and the players accused in the Bounty Scandal is growing a bit tiresome. However, this defamation suit filed by Jonathan Vilma against Roger Goodell just might be the nudge this case needs to get ACTUAL evidence brought to light. For the past two and a half months, it’s been the League’s word versus the players. Bringing these issues to a court of law may force the League into showing their case against the players. From ProFootBallTalk.com:
As specified in paragraph 1 on the complaint, the claim is defamation, which means that Vilma contends Goodell lied about Vilma when making public statements about Vilma’s role in the alleged bounty program.
What follows over the next 112 numbered paragraphs are a variety of specific allegations that, in short, claim the Commissioner has been untruthful about Vilma’s involvement in the bounty program, and that Vilma never “pledged” and “never paid, or intended to pay” $10,000 or any amount of money as an incentive to knock Brett Favre or Kurt Warner out of 2009 playoff games, or any other player in any other game.
Above all else, the lawsuit appears to be a mechanism for forcing the NFL to put the evidence against Vilma on the table. Since truth is an absolute defense to any defamation claim, Goodell can vindicate himself by offering up proof to support the statements he has made.
The League responded in an email to PFT stating that, “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.”
Better getcha popcorn ready. This Bounty fight is just getting started.
Further reading: Vilma Sues Goodell for Defamation – CBSSports: Vilma, Saints Continue to Show Learning Disability – NFL.com: Could Vilma End Up Playing 2012?