Thursday, May 24, 2012
Boutygate Continues: Goodell vs. Vilma
If you haven’t already heard, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has filed a defamation of character lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell. This is in response to the suspension that Goodell handed down to Vilma for his participation in the Saints bounty scandal which was vetted out earlier this year. The war of words continues to go on and it looks like this is going to get ugly before any resolution to the matter comes. So which party is the right party in this case? Is Vilma correct in assuming that Goodell has defamed his character by suspending him for his involvement in the Saint’s bounty scandal? Was it right for Goodell to suspend Vilma for his actions? Was Vilma guilty of taking part in the Saint’s bounty scandal and did he deserve the year long suspension that Goodell gave him for his part in the scandal? These are all questions that should be answered when the arbitrator is done hearing the case for Vilma and he will make his decision based on the facts of the case. After reading some of the things that have taken place and trying to get a feel for the scandal as a whole, it’s hard to imagine that Vilma didn’t have some part in it. The question is how big of a part did he play and does he deserve the punishment that has been vetted out to him. Depending on who you listen to Vilma may not be guilty of what the commissioner of the NFL has laid out against him and in fact may be innocent of the charges he has been accused of. If you listen to others they will tell you that Vilma had a huge hand in the bounty gate scandal and was one of it’ biggest players. His guilt or innocence is going to be decided one way or another but it appears as if the commissioner has already decided this and that’s what Vilma doesn’t like. He doesn’t care for the fact that Goodell has suspended him and given him a bad name. And now he wants to take his revenge out on Goodell by suing him for defaming his character. Whether or not its character defamation remains to be seen. One this is for sure and that’s Vilma is trying to get his way by attempting to strong arm Goodell with a personal lawsuit. It’s highly unlikely that this is going to give Vilma the outcome that he favors but you never know with today’s legal system. Hopefully this doesn’t set a precedent for when other players get in trouble by the commissioner and want to try to find a way out of it. The commissioner was acting in good faith as the head of the NFL and it’s his assigned duty to dole out punishment to players that break the rules like Vilma supposedly did. He shouldn’t be personally held accountable for the actions that he was entitled by the league to do and the courts may see it this way. So keep an eye on this case because it may set a precedent for future lawsuits brought against the commissioner of the NFL by players when they are suspended. If Vilma wins and gets his way look for the floodgates to open whenever there is a suspension as players will question the legality of their suspensions with suits against the commissioner himself. And that will be a legal mess.
Posted by Bryan at 5/24/2012