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Jonathan Vilma suing Roger Goodell for defamation

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by BradyFTW!, May 17, 2012.

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  1. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    New Orleans Saints' Jonathan Vilma sues commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation - ESPN

    Relevant quotes:

    All that I can say to this is: good. I'm glad to see someone standing up to Goodell, and if the facts aren't in Vilma's favor, then that will likely come out soon enough anyways. Vilma must be pretty confident in his case, I would think, to expose himself to the discovery process. Most potential outcomes of this lawsuit are good for us, as NFL and Patriots fans.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  2. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    Could the evidence that Goodell has on Vilma be worse then what we've already seen from Williams? Vilma probably is just trying to get this public so the fans and the media can debate if it was a fair punishment.
  3. ctpatsfan77

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    The problem for Vilma is that he's a public figure, and so must satisfy the stringent (and badly named) "actual malice."

    IOW, he needs to prove that Goodell knew what he was saying was false, and went ahead and said it anyways.
  4. 37Harrison

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    2004: $230,000 Signing Bonus: $6.03 million
    2005: $305,000
    2006: $667,500
    2007: $750,000
    2008: $4,097,500
    2009: $3,300,000; $17.2 million guaranteed; Signing Bonus: $6 million
    2010: $4,000,000
    2011: $5,130,000

    This is what Vilma has been paid over the course of the years... it totals over $30M! I have a MAJOR problem with the bolded part of Vilmas' lawer's statement: "By making these false and public statements, he has significantly harmed Jonathan's reputation and ability to make a living."

    FU rich F'n F's!
  5. ctpatsfan77

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    While I understand your anger, I have no qualms with this: in order to win damages, Vilma will likely have to show that Goodell's statement is having/has had a negative impact on his current/future earning potentials.
  6. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    It doesn't matter how much money he's made over the years. IF he was actually defamed, he's entitled to damages. In reality, though, his losing out on a season's pay is the direct result of his suspension and not the defamation, and the suspension was carried out under CBA which has a grievance process (and so can't be tried as part of this case), so the damages might not at all line up with his pay. My guess is he's doing this to get at the evidence. If it turns out that the evidence is particularly weak, the public backlash against Goodell would create a very interesting situation.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  7. Calciumee

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    Breaking the rules probably did that!
  8. BradyFTW!

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    The guy has 8-10 years to make enough money for he and his family to be set for life. This is his career, and being suspended for a year and made a pariah for one of the biggest scandals in league history is hurting his ability to profit from this career.

    I don't understand why you have a problem with this.
  9. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

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    Cool, but has anyone considered that this all works for Goodell long term?

    "I tried to make the game safer, your honor, and I got calls of 'flag football.' I tried to end bounties and got sued. The biggest impediment to safety is not the NFL, but the players."
  10. Mainefan

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    I think Vilma has no chance of collecting. He is flailing about desperately, trying to prove he is a good guy. It's really quite sad. I strongly suspect Goodell has more than enough evidence to back up what he's said. He didn't WANT to single out Vilma in this way. He felt he had no choice. It was a matter of saving the reputation of the game. One might say Goodell over reacted, and even that he is a power-hungry asshat. But it's inconceivable that he's lied.

    Vilma, on the other hand, has a career and a reputation to salvage, if possible, and the damage is so devastating that he feels forced to try everything--the appeals, the suit, etc. Maybe Vilma has been unfairly singled out. Maybe he's been no worse than many others. But he did what he did. His reaction reminds me of the reaction of some of the baseball steroid-users.
  11. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    You have to be kidding? You want the thugs like Vilma to take
    over NFL football? What Vilma is banking on is that he and the
    other 22-27 liars can overcome Williams' testimony.
  12. PatsFanSince74

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    No matter what people think of Goodell as Commissioner, he is a very good lawyer, so I doubt he ever said anything about a player that is legally actionable.

    As far as I know, what Goodell did say was that Vilma was a "leader" of the Saints' Bounty program, which I suspect is corroborated by third party statements. Vilma's suit, according to the article, states that he "never `pledged,' made or received payments of any kind encouraging or resulting from an opposing player being injured." Goodell's lawyers would drive a semi through the daylight between those two statements if the case ever got to court.

    My personal view has always been that Goodell has "overpunished" the players and could have hit the coaches and management even harder. So, if he has more evidence on the players, it will no doubt now come out.

    Vilma clearly feels singled out and dissed by all of this and, as the article states, his employment opportunities outside of football and his endorsement opportunities related to the game have probably all disappeared. Bad luck and Bad timing, Jonathan.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  13. PatsFanSince74

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    As far as I know, and please do correct me if I am wrong as I might well be wrong, all Goodell has said of Vilma is that he was a "leader" of the Saint's Bounty program. That either is or is not a matter of corroborated fact in the public domain.

    It is almost impossible to imagine that a "lawyer's lawyer" like Roger Goodell would make a statement like that about an individual if it were not both corroborated and public. So, even if it does have a negative impact on Vilma's earning potential, Goodell would have no liability.
  14. lurker1965

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    Are you saying Vilma = Clemmons? I mean without the perjury before Congress.:D
  15. PatsFanSince74

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    I have a lot of trouble with the suit (I suspect that it's groundless), but I have no trouble with his wanting to be able to make money going forward. He has every right to defend his ability to do so, if he feels he has been wronged. What he has or has not earned in the past is irrelevant.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  16. Boomer B

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    PFT makes a good point in that Vilma's court documents and public statements say he “never paid, or intended to pay” bounty's, but he doesn't make any indication of whether he offered the bounty's.

    Obviously his lawyers have tip toed around whether he offered the $10k and want public opinion to sway to their side by making him look innocent with the "never paid or intented to pay". I doubt this ever will make it to court and Vilma probably doesn't even want it to get to court.

    If I was Vilma I would be more pissed at the Saints organization then the commish. If they would have shut down the bounty program when they were told to he wouldn't have been suspended and would be making his millions and his name wouldn't be dragged through the mud. He should sue his coaches and GM for the amount of salary he will lose.
  17. 37Harrison

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    I have a problem with it because he already has enough money for he and his family to be set for life. He has made over $30 million dollars already in his career. How in the hell has it jeopardized his ability to make a living? Seriously, if making over $30 million isn't enough to make a living on for you and your kids then the majority of us are screwed. A family rigt now is fortunate to have two workings parents that are clearing over $160k for the year while raising their family.

    I have no problem with the reputation part.
  18. jcdavey

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    i love goodell, best commish ever
  19. Patsfanin Philly

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    Hold on Sparky. Goodell has a BA in economics but not a JD and as far as I know, never attended law school. He may have a stable of lawyers in his employ but he is not one himself. As a result, he may have a very good knowledge of the law, slander, libel, defamation, New York Times malice et al... but his background is PR, not law.
  20. ausbacker

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    It doesn't seem like a smart move by Vilma, even if it's just for PR.
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