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Jonathan Vilma issues statement


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#1 OnTheCoast

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:34 PM

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended by the NFL earlier Wednesday, issued a statement through his attorney a few minutes ago. Here it is in its entirety:

"I am shocked and extremely disappointed by the NFL’s decision to suspend me for the 2012 season. Commissioner Roger Goodell has refused to share any of the supposed evidence he claims supports this unprecedented punishment. The reason is clear: I never paid, or intended to pay, $10,000, or any amount of money, to any player for knocking Kurt Warner, Brett Favre or any other player out of the 2009 Divisional playoff game, 2010 NFC Championship Game or any other game.

“I never set out to intentionally hurt any player and never enticed any teammate to intentionally hurt another player. I also never put any money into a bounty pool or helped to create a bounty pool intended to pay out money for injuring other players. I have always conducted myself in a professional and proud manner.

“I intend to fight this injustice, to defend my reputation, to stand up for my team and my profession, and to send a clear signal to the commissioner that the process has failed, to the detriment of me, my teammates, the New Orleans Saints and the game.’’

http://espn.go.com/b...ssues-statement

"But that’s just, uh, like my opinion, man."

"The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that."


#2 Tobias Reiper

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:47 PM

'Em's fightin' werds!

Seriously, I hope this is it. I love Vilma, but if he's the sacrificial lamb, players edition, and just him, so be it.
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#3 Trm3

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:06 PM

U know, I'm not against Vilma cause he's my guy on my team but if u didn't do anything why didn't u speak up before when all this stuff came about?

It's whatever now..in the public and the media eyes we're already sinners cause God knows no one has ever done or thought about what we did. Our SB run obviously has a *asterisk* next to it because we cheated, like having bounties helps u throw TD's and make plays on the field.

#4 paper_bag

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:38 PM

Well, I do remember Jenkins saying something about the players not really being able to talk about it until the suspensions went out. Maybe that's why he waited?
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#5 NFLDiva

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:41 PM

Anyone else hearing that Ed Werder was on SportsCenter saying he has a source that says the NFL made this all up to gain leverage on the NFLPA??? Can't find a link to it anywhere, just reading it on Twitter and saw it on B&G.

Did any of you hear or read anything else about this??

#6 WhoDat205

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

Here's how this shit went down:

Williams and Co setup a very common and illegal pool, funded by players, that paid for big plays. It started in 2009. In the NFC divisional playoff game against the Cards, Williams ratcheted up the stakes with a showy stack of bills. He gave them to Vilma, Vilma slapped that shit on the table. Everyone got fired up, we beat the shit out of the Cards. The same process was repeated for the NFCCG. Favre got the shit beat out of him. No one was ever paid for intentionally injuring a player, that's MO obviously. The league got wind of something and snooped around. Williams and Co continued the practice of a pool for big plays through the 10 and 11 seasons.

The league started snooping around again in late 2011. Hargrove - a guy who had been in trouble before and surely got the "we'll take all this away from you again" treatment - was interviewed and rolled. Goodell had all the "proof" he needed. In the face of lawsuits from retired players, he slapped his own showy stack of bills on the table. Remember The Wire? "Dope on the table." 50,000 pages of evidence? Right, sure. That's like 50 bibles worth of records on a glorified betting pool between 25 guys. That's just a big number to throw out there. It gets the chuckleheads in the media fired up because how could 50,000 pages not say exactly what you say it says? Everyone can feign outrage and generate some page views. It gets the pitchforks out from the fans of the other 31 teams, because we're a contender. Better us than them, right? He let's the media do their thing for about 2 weeks, then he starts dealing out punishments.

He hammered the FO first because he could do that with impunity. The coaches and Loomis had no recourse. They also can't deny it really, because they actually did have this pool going. What's the point of coming out and saying, "sure we did this, but it's not what you think". Their pants were around their ankles. On top of that you had the jackoff release that audio of Williams on the freaking day the appeals were to be heard. I'm not going to even say that the league had a hand in that. I really do think it was just a crazy stroke of good fortune. But it certainly ensured that no one would be rallying to the Saints cause after that. No one with any clout with the league is going to stand up for what Williams said on that tape.

When it came time to punish players, he all of a sudden wants to involve the PA. He asks for input on the suspensions from Smith and PA because...? There's no reason to do that outside of trying to make them take a bite of your shit sandwich. He makes the PA either A. say that players should be punished for intentionally trying to injure other players, or B. say that players should not be punished for intentionally trying to injure other players. It's the old "when did you stop beating your wife" move. Either way you're a wife beater.

The PA has repeatedly called for evidence, which is - I guarantee - the statements of one or two (if they're lucky) players and maybe some vague emails that wouldn't stand on their own. But at this point, everyone knows the Saints broke the rules. I heard Sharper say that point blank about 10 minutes ago on NFL dot com. They had a pay-for-performance pool going on. There was a bounty put down on Farve and Warner - all for show or not.

So we've been handed the closest thing to an NFL death penalty that's ever been levied. For what? It's not illegal to intentionally injure a player during the course of a game. It's not illegal to target players' injuries. It's not illegal to hit a non-defenseless player in the head. It's not illegal to lie to the commish. It's not illegal to say all the things that Williams said. It's not even illegal to do most of the things that Williams said under the proper circumstances. It was for extra incentives for players. A salary cap violation. For illegally compensating players - no - for players illegally compensating each other. The NFL has suspended 3 coaches, a GM, and 4 players a total of 77 games and counting and God knows how many millions of dollars. In the name of the salary cap!

It's a coin trick. Goodell has managed to get everyone to look at the hand with "player safety" in it, when all he's really holding is a fucking salary cap violation. And the SOB has managed to get everyone pissed at the Saints because retired players can't remember where they left their goddamn keys. I'm sorry for being flippant about that stuff, and I do not want to trivialize what has and is happening to those guys. But the League are the ones playing that shit down and trivializing it by trying to paint the Saints as the bad guys in all this. As if 3 years of some bullshit-assed office pool is supposed to mean something to a 45 year old man who can't remember his wife's name because he got hit in the head 50,000 times over the course of his career.

Sorry for being so long winded, but if you want to make football safe, then you need to outlaw all the dangerous stuff...all of it.

Seriously, Fuck Goodell.
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#7 OnTheCoast

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:31 PM

What he said, seriously.

"But that’s just, uh, like my opinion, man."

"The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that."


#8 Trm3

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:27 AM

+2

I couldn't have said it better myself. No really, my brain couldn't have come up with all that. :D

#9 bullmoose72078

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

you forgot one thing. by the nflpa standin up for the saint's players and appealing they can be made out to not care about player safety. they argument the nflpa had about 18 games was player safety. the nfl can now say if you care so much about player safety why did you fight the punishment for bountygate.

#10 Tobias Reiper

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

you forgot one thing. by the nflpa standin up for the saint's players and appealing they can be made out to not care about player safety. they argument the nflpa had about 18 games was player safety. the nfl can now say if you care so much about player safety why did you fight the punishment for bountygate.


The NFLPA standing up against Herr Goddell has nothing to do with the NFLPA not caring about player safety. The NFLPA is arguing there is no proof that Saints players engaged in a play-for-injured scheme. Think of it as a defense lawyer defending a murderer. Is the lawyer pro-murder?
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#11 WhoDat

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:33 AM

1) Brilliant post, 205. I think you're absolutely right.

2)


you forgot one thing. by the nflpa standin up for the saint's players and appealing they can be made out to not care about player safety. they argument the nflpa had about 18 games was player safety. the nfl can now say if you care so much about player safety why did you fight the punishment for bountygate.


The NFLPA standing up against Herr Goddell has nothing to do with the NFLPA not caring about player safety. The NFLPA is arguing there is no proof that Saints players engaged in a play-for-injured scheme. Think of it as a defense lawyer defending a murderer. Is the lawyer pro-murder?


I think Bullmoose is saying that the NFL can now ARGUE that the NFLPA doesn't really care about player safety. It's a tactic the NFL can use to gain leverage to further erode - wait for it - player safety.

3) I think there will be lawsuits. Unless these appeals are with an independent arbitrator, and that arbitrator drastically reduces the penalties, the players may sue the NFL. I would. Rules of evidence apply in a lawsuit. Discovery is allowed. The NFL would be forced to turn this stuff over. Then the "evidence" would be made public and Goodell will be in a lot of trouble.
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#12 Trm3

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

Well, I do remember Jenkins saying something about the players not really being able to talk about it until the suspensions went out. Maybe that's why he waited?


Could be right, was odd that he just responded as soon as he heard his suspension.




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