NFL Players Suspended In Saint Bounty Program Appeal to Goodell
Goodell, and the players in question, Saints linebacker Johnathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, Packers defensive end Anothony Hargrove, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, met at the NFL headquarters to discuss their suspensions.
According to reports, Vilma left the meeting first, after only an hour. Vilma claims he doesn’t understand how those involved in the Bounty Gate scandal can get a fair trial when Goodell is the, “judge, jury, and executioner.”
Scott Fujita also commented that, Throughout this process, it has become increasingly clear to me that just because someone disagrees with the NFL’s interpretation of an incredibly flawed investigation it’s assumed that he’s lying and to me and that’s a shame. I’ve played 10 years in this league and throughout my career I’ve done nothing but conduct myself in a positive manner. This has impacted my reputation, this has impacted my ability to provide for my family now and in the future and I have a hard time with that. The NFL has been careless and irresponsible and they have made mistakes. At some point they have to answer questions.”
It’s hard to disagree with the players from the standpoint that all of the power is in Goodell’s hands. He holds all of the power in this case, and if he is convinced that the players have done something, there is no other opinion to seek, other than take the NFL to court, but due to the collective bargaining agreement, such a thing may not be possible.