New Orleans Saints Jonathan Vilma strikes back at NFL with defamation suit

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Jan 16, 2010; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) near the end of the game aginst the Arizona Cardinals at the 2010 NFC divisional playoff game at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 45-14. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

New Orleans Saints linebacker is showing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that not only can he play defense, but offense as well with a defamation lawsuit that was filed today.

Vilma, in a lawsuit filed in Louisiana today, is suing Goodell for defamation in regards to the “bounty” investigation.  Vilma stated that the term “Bounty” will be associated with his name for a long time to come.

He also stated that people will “remember his name with ill repute”.  Vilma has been singled out during the entire investigation although he claims there is little to no evidence to support the allegations against him.

Goodell has argued that revealing key evidence along with witness statements and witness names would only hinder others from coming forward in the future to report wrongdoings within their team or organization.

The due process for the NFL drastically strays from the criminal law aspect where you have to have probable cause and the prosecution must share evidence with the defense and allow the defense to face their accusers and question a witness for the prosecution.

Vilma also currently is appealing his year-long suspension from Goodell which was heard yesterday.  If Vilma wins the appeal and lawsuit, he will literally change the balance of power that some think Goodell has too much of.

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