Originally Posted by Curtain_of_Steel
So what is he arguing? .
As stated in the Complaint
Goodell, in the March 2 Club Report, also alleged that “prior to a Saints playoff game in January, 2010, defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 in cash to any player who knocked [opposing quarterback Brett] Favre out of the game.” (“Favre Allegation.”)...
Upon information and belief, Goodell told others that Vilma placed $10,000 in cash on a table during a team meeting in making the alleged offer concerning Favre....
Goodell, in his March 21 Press Release, also repeated the allegation that “several players pledged funds toward bounties on specific opposing players” and that “defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offer[ed] $10,000 to any player who knocked Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game in 2010.”...
Vilma never paid, or intended to pay, $10,000, or any amount of money, as an incentive to any player to knock Warner, Favre, or any other player, out of the 2009 Divisional Playoff Game, 2010 NFC Championship Game, or any other game.
Vilma never placed $10,000, or any amount of money, on any table or anywhere else as part of a Bounty Program or any other program in violation of NFL rules.
Vilma is challenging the allegations regarding the $10,000 bounty on Favre, which was a centerpiece of the grounds for bounty disciplinary actions
Vilma may be lying but the complaint makes it pretty clear what he is saying
Of course the league apparently will use its all purpose defense to any challenge to The Shield and the power of Goodell by claiming the collective bargainihg agreement preempts any right to bring a libel action. It also could disclose its sources regarding the $10,000 offer to take out Favre but that might cause soime other problems
The NFL will seek to dismiss the claim as frivolous or, alternatively, pre-empted by the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFLPA and the Uniform Player Contract. The league has expansively interpreted the collectively-bargained Personal Conduct Policy to include any conduct detrimental to the league's image. The policy commands that Goodell has final say on player discipline and that there is no right of appeal or review of his decisions. From that perspective, Vilma's anger should be with his union, which assented to Goodell having such sweeping authority. In response, Vilma could argue neither collectively-bargained nor language contained in the Uniform Player Contract contemplates defamation lawsuits between players and the commissioner, and thus any pre-emptive language would not apply to his specific dispute....
The league's best argument may be the simplest: truth is an absolute defense to defamation. The problem for the league in making such an argument is that, through the discovery process, it would likely have to disclose information it does not want to reveal. For instance, the league may have to divulge it's sources of information, including the identifies of players and coaches who were informants. The backlash of such disclosures could be considerable.
Pete Rozelle was riding high until litigation beat him down in the 80s. The concussion lawsuits and actions such as that brought by Vilma to challenge his power may do the same to Goodell