Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, suspended for the 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, filed a defamation lawsuit against the commissioner today in a Louisiana court.
In Jonathan Vilma v. Roger Goodell, it is alleged that “Goodell, speaking publicly about certain Saints executives, coaches and players, in relation to purported efforts designed to injure opposing players, made public statements concerning Vilma which were false, defamatory and injurious to Vilma’s professional and personal reputation.”
Vilma, whom Goodell called a leader of the bounty system that targeted opposing players for injury in exchange for money, and three other players, who were given shorter suspensions, have appealed the punishment.
In a section of the lawsuit called “The Truth,” each finding against Vilma by the league in its investigation of the Saints is disputed. Vilma, the lawsuit says, “never established, or assisted in establishing, a Bounty Program or any similar program in violation of NFL rules.”
The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. There was no response yet from the commissioner’s office.
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