Roger Goodell seeks to dismiss Saints' Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell filed a motion on Thursday morning to dismiss the defamation lawsuit brought against him by New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com:
Goodell's reply claimed that Vilma’s claims were all "relating to and emanating from Commissioner Goodell's imposition of discipline for conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football," according to the court document. That refers back to the power Goodell wields over the appeals process in cases under the personal conduct policy, under which "conduct detrimental" falls.
In response to the filing, Vilma's lawyer contended that there are still a lot of questions to be answered by the Commissioner for what he had done to his client:
"As Williams Gladstone, the British scholar, said, 'Justice delayed is justice denied.' Jonathan deserves justice and the commissioner should answer for what he has done to Jonathan. Simply because the commissioner's attorneys can file motions, and delay the defamation claims from proceeding at the moment, does not mean it is the proper way to proceed. Jonathan, the NFL, its fans, and all of its players, deserve a transparent and open airing of this serious situation."
With oral arguments now set to begin at a hearing on Aug. 1 in a Louisiana court, Vilma tweeted Thursday afternoon, "and we're off..."