So generally when I see lawsuits, I’m usually not a fan of them but there are times – like if you own McDonald’s and a new burger place comes out called McJohnson’s, you probably have to sue. But I saw this lawsuit and I laughed – even texted a good friend writing “seriously?” So Saints suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He claims that Mr. Goodell relied on, at best, “heresay and circumstantial evidence and lies” in suspending Vilma. Then Vilma’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said “By making these false and public statements, he has significantly harmed Jonathan Vilma’s reputation and ability to make a living” ohh please! As if single defensive coordinator in the NFL would not hire Jonathan Vilma because of Bountygate.
People who have killed people have been given second chances in this league – Pacman Jones was in the league last year. He’d either been arrested, apprehended, citations, twelve times with cops. If you can make us better …you’re in! Want another example? Randy Moss – played on 4 teams within 2 years. The NFL is a “win games for us” league. Nobody in this league is going to say “you know, Jonathan Vilma was reportedly in this thing, they called it Bountygate and he was going to hit people even harder! No room for him here” pfft please, Randy Moss keeps getting work. You can be a jerk, you can be indignant, you can be temperamental. Terrell Owens, OchoCinco…it doesn’t matter; it’s a “win games” league because if you can help win, you’ll get a job.
Now, is Jonathan Vilma angry? Yes, but let’s be honest here, he’s been in the league for almost 8 years, it’s on fumes, he’s not the player he once was. His biggest issue, and I get it, is that “I got about 2 years left and your taking one of my years away” dude, invest your money better. Lester Munson this morning was on the Mike & Mike Show and said that this is a very uphill battle for Vilma “…he must prove, not only that the NFL was incorrect in what it said about him, but he has got to show that they did it deliberately and maliciously. Vilma, under the law, is a public figure and to succeed in any defamation case, he has got to show malicious – and that is an overwhelming burden for Vilma” So it’s unbelievably hard to prove.
In order to win that lawsuit, you have to believe that Roger Goodell thought “you know, I want to pick on one guy in this league…ahh, let’s go after Jonathan Vilma, I want to end his career!” Really? You’re not going to prove that. Remember, when you’re a public figure, it’d be very difficult for any public figure to sue somebody and it would be equally difficult to sue a public figure. I heard recently that a prominent sports talk radio guy on ESPN received a letter during last year’s finals claiming from a Dallas based attorney claiming “slander on Dirk Nowitzki! I don’t like your comments. I am considering in my law office to take legal action against you” why? Because he’s a talk show host who has an opinion on Dirk Nowitzki, if that attorney could sue him then Barack Obama could sue Sean Hannity…it’s not happening!
The NFL is loaded with bad dudes who have jobs – don’t tell me that nobody is going to hire Jonathan Vilma because of this Bountygate stuff, it’s totally irrelevant! It’s not a PR hit either because he’s a long time defensive player so it’s not a PR hit. He’s not running for public office or anything like that, he’s not an elected official, and he’s a football player and is a defensive player who lights people up! Got the Greg Williams audio tape – it’s the culture of the NFL.