September 23, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma on the sideline during the second quarter of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
In a report last night from ProFootballTalk.com, ESPN is in the works to do a character study on New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Barry Adams, ans ESPN Feature Producer, sent letters out to various individuals to invite them to discuss “Mr. Vilma.” The letter was also stating that the feature would indeed be a character study that would be shown as a feature on SportsCenter.
Vilma wasn’t happy and sent this message on his Twitter account:
"Why is ESPN secretly conducting a character study on me?? they really think I wouldn’t find out?!? Ill post the letter tomm"
One picture of the letter has been posted by Vilma which was presumably sent to linebacker Eric Barton who Vilma stated on his Twitter account was a former teammate of his with the New York Jets.
Adams’ email and phone number was attached in the letter which prompted fans of Vilma to feverishly begin leaving messages in both forms according to replies sent to Vilma’s Twitter feed.
Of course the reason for such a response is not only because of how fans feel Vilma is being treated by the NFL, or more specifically Commissioner Roger Goodell, but because of a recent segment that ESPN did.
On an episode of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines“, a profile was done on suspended head coach Sean Payton that was less than flattering and painted him as an out of control tyrant who seemed to thumb his nose at any type of authority from the NFL.
The piece was investigated by reporter John Barr who also was responsible for the alleged wiretapping story about general manager Mickey Loomis which appears to have died on the vine because of it’s nature of pure speculation from Barr with little to no evidence to support it.
In fact, Barr has come under fire since the segment aired do to what appeared to be another instance of what some called just trying to dig up dirt on Payton by any means. The segment also has been criticized for appearing unbalanced and for being what amounts to as a smear campaign against the suspended coach.
Given that and the tensions that mounted since the last meeting between Vilma and Goodell, his supporters and Saints fans are no doubt wanting ESPN to go poke their nose elsewhere for a story.