Tag Archives: Goodell

Legal Analyst Examines Defamation Lawsuit Against Roger Goodell

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Director of Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School and Sports Illustrated Legal Analyst Michael McCann joined Seibel, Starkey and Miller on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN to discuss the recent defamation lawsuit Saints Linebacker Jonathan Vilma has filed against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Vilma has claimed that his reputation has been tarnished by what the commissioner has said about him when it comes to the bounties the Saints had against opposing teams, and is hoping that the suit will get to the point where the league will have to reveal the evidence they have implicating his involvement in the bounties.

McCann isn’t sure that the case will actually make it to trial because of rules written into the CBA although bringing the case in front of a Louisiana courtroom as Vilma has done may help his cause.

We also got McCann to give us his thoughts on the progression of the Jerry Sandusky case and where things currently stand.

Filed under: College, Football, Heard on The Fan, Penn State, Sports, Sports Talk Shows, Steelers, Watch + Listen Tagged: Bountygate, Jerry Sandusky, Jonathan Vilma, Michael McCann, New Orleans Saints, Penn State, Roger Goodell, Sports Illustrated

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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Saints LB Jonathan Vilma Sues NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for Defamation

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It seems NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not, in fact, the judge and jury over NFL players.

An actual judge will be – at least, in the case of Saints suspended LB Jonathan Vilma, who sued Goodell – not the NFL, mind you, just Goodell – for defamation.

Vilma filed suit in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, for, “speaking publicly about certain Saints executives, coaches and players, in relation to purported efforts designed to injure opposing players, made public statements concerning Vilma which were false, defamatory and injurious to Vilma’s professional and personal reputation.”

The suit is not seeking a higher ruling on the suspension, but rather, it claims damage was done to Vilma’s reputation due to statements issued by Goodell without furnishing evidence.

There’s no CBA to protect the Commissioner. There’s no hiding behind it, there’s no lack of disclosure. The Commissioner will be tried in court over the validity of claims and statements alleging Vilma paid into a fund rewarding players for injuring their opponents.

And rest assured, Goodell absolutely will fight this. His credibility, as well as the controversial aspect of the CBA giving Goodell the authority to dole out suspensions as well as rule on the appeal, will come into question.

In the past, Goodell has given out suspensions without being made to disclose evidence, such was the case in the SpyGate scandal involving the New England Patriots in 2007.

Assuming Goodell didn’t destroy evidence this time, he will be questioned, in open court, about what evidence he had to issue a year-long suspension to Vilma, as well as 2009 Saints teammates Scott Fujita (three games), Anthony Hargrove (eight games) and Will Smith (four games).

It very well could be true that Goodell had evidence to suspend the four players, but the issue has been the fact he’s gone public with the accusations, quotes and alleged testimony, but he never produced documented proof of the players’ involvement.

If this suit is thrown out, or the judge ruled against Vilma, he will have accomplished at least a semblance of due process.

And great precedent for future players judged guilty without proof to at least make the league

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Art Rooney and Roger Goodell Help Minnesota Senate Pass Stadium Bill


The Minnesota House Government Operations Committee voted against a bill that would have constructed a $ 975 million stadium for the Vikings this past week.

After that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Steelers president and chair of the NFL’s stadium committee hopped a plane to St. Paul to meet with legislators.

They’re singing a different tune now. fter the failed vote, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said “We have to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave. It’s just as clear as that.” A companion bill was proposed to the senate’s Senate’s Local Government and Elections Committee, and it passed Friday – barely – with an 8-6 vote.

Reports indicate Goodell and Rooney did not bring with them an ultimatum, but it seems more likely one didn’t need to be made any way. Edward Roski, a partial owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings, has everything cleared for an $ 800 million stadium outside Los Angeles. All he is waiting for is a team. The Vikings clearly would have explored fully the possibility of selling at least a 30 percent stake in the team – Roski’s request – and moving it to Los Angeles, just like the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA did in 1959.

Instead, life in the proposed project – which includes $ 398 million from a tax on scratch-off lottery tickets and an extension of a current hospitality tax in the city of Minneapolis providing another $ 150 million – has life again.

Rooney’s role in the matter was to present the economic benefits of a new stadium and revitalized growth in an area I can say, as a Minneapolis suburban resident, is stagnant. The Metrodome itself isn’t the only bland aspect of the area in which it rests. Hennepin County’s largest hospital sits nearly adjacent to the tenant-less domed facility, and the aging buildings around it clearly have seen better days. A re-investment into this once proud area would be a boost to the city and the taxpayers who are footing the bill.

The Warehouse District, now home to Target Field and the Minnesota Twins, had an overhaul of development that coincided with the construction of the stadium. Obviously, economic development comes with a cost, and it’s a big decision for the legislature. The NFL does not want the Vikings to be the team that will move to Los Angeles, but there is little doubt among Dayton, Goodell, Rooney or many Minnesotans that will be the result should a stadium not be built.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Goodell offers facts, not threats, on stadium

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ST. PAUL, Minn. National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II met with Minnesota governor Mark Dayton and legislative leaders Friday morning, serving a “reality check” on the Minnesota Vikings’ struggle to get a new stadium built with help from public funding.

On Monday, a House committee voted, 9-6, against a 975 million stadium bill that seemed to have bi-partisan support less than a month ago. The vote dealt a major blow to the Vikings’ decade-long quest to replace the outdated Metrodome.

“I believe they served us a reality check, and it’s very appreciated,” said Sen. Julie Rosen, an author of the current bill. “It’s time now to get this bill done.”

There is concern about the recent setback — not just on the part of Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf but also from the league, which has seen the Vikings place 31st out of 32 teams annually in stadium revenue. With growing viability in Los Angeles for an NFL team, the Vikings and Goodell have reiterated the need to get approval on a bill during the current legislative session. That session is scheduled to end April 30 but could be extended through May 21.

Goodell said his appearance wasn’t about threating local legislative leaders but about sharing the concern the league has regarding the Vikings in Minnesota.

“There were no implied threats or any threats at all,” Goodell said. “What we talked about is the importance of creating a solution that works for the team and works for the community. This has been discussed here for several years, and I think the legislative leaders and the governor understand that the time is now. Let’s get this addressed.”

Goodell and Rooney, the chairman of the league’s stadium committee, met with Dayton and six legislative leaders for nearly an hour in Dayton’s office at the state capitol. Dayton and Goodell had spoken by phone on Thursday, but Friday’s meeting demonstrated the increased importance to both Dayton and the NFL.

The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome ran out last year. In hopes of getting a new stadium during this legislative session, the Wilfs agreed to play the 2012 season in the Metrodome, creating a situation that leaves the team on a year-to-year basis. The Wilfs were not present for Friday’s meeting, and the Vikings didn’t have representation in the meeting.

On Tuesday, Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley told reporters, “there is no next year” for a stadium bill.

“Well, they are frustrated,” Goodell said of the Wilfs. “But they are committed to this community. They want to be here. They recognize for them to continue to operate here successfully and field a competitive team, they need a new stadium. And I think there’s recognition by everyone in this community that a new stadium is needed.”

The Wilfs have maintained that they don’t want to move the team and have worked extensively with the legislature to get a deal done in Minnesota. But the presence of Goodell and Rooney should get the point across that the matter is gaining urgency.

“It seems like it was a productive meeting,” Rooney said. “When I got a call from the commissioner asking if I could come up here, I said, Sure we can do it after the draft.’ He said it was urgent and, You need to come right away.’ We came to express our concern about where the situation is and do everything we can to encourage that action needs to be taken now.”

The viability of the team moving to Los Angeles was certainly a subject in the meeting, first broached by Minnesota legislators. Approval of league owners is required for both the sale and relocation of a franchise, along with other necessary requirements. But Dayton said that he was informed most of those commitments have been met. A move can’t be made now, but there could be approval before the 2013 season, if needed.

“There is no ultimatum, but we did clearly talk about L.A.,” Rosen said. “We did thoroughly talk that, that is an open market. There is a feeling amongst some legislators and some in the state that they would never leave. I think it was good to hear from the NFL and from a very prominent team owner that they do have the right to move or to be sold. For us it was good to have everyone at the same table.”

Dayton has been in support of a stadium deal for months, and surprisingly the House committee vote Monday was largely struck down by Democratic leaders, going against the wishes of the democratic governor.

The bill calls for the state to cover 398 million of the costs, with 150 million going to the City of Minneapolis and 427 million covered by the Vikings, with the new stadium being built largely on the current Metrodome site. The bill was set for action later Friday in a Senate committee. If the bill gets through the Senate, it could be revived in some way for a House vote.

“The fact that they came here today, very short notice and cleared their schedules is something that indicates the importance that they attach to this decision, and the gravity of the situation and immediacy of the situation that faces the decision-makers here at the legislature in the next few days,” Dayton said.

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Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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NFL commissioner Goodell upholds penalties in Saints bounty case

Roger Goodell stuck with his punishments for New Orleans’ pay-for-pain bounties, rejecting Saints coach Sean Payton’s appeal of a season-long suspension.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Roger Goodell Extended as NFL Commissioner Through 2018 (via Schefter)

By my math, that means we’ll have touch football as soon as 2016.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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