FOOTBALL — 19 June 2012

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held appeal hearings for four suspended New Orleans Saints players who complained the process taken by the league is not fair and has failed to prove anything.

The meeting between Goodell and players took place Monday at NFL headquarters. Present at the meeting was New Orleans’ linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who is out for the entire 2012 season; defensive end Will Smith, out for four games; Anthony Hargrove, suspended for eight games; and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita who is out for three games.

Jonathan Vilma and his attorney, Peter Ginsberg, left the appeal extremely frustrated, calling the hearing “a sham” and were upset with the failure to present any evidence to support his decision to impose such a lengthily suspension upon Vilma.

”Roger Goodell has taken three months to tear down what I built over eight years. It’s tough to swallow. I have been linked to a bounty and it simply is not true,” said Vilma, who is as a result of everything, suing the commissioner for defamation. ”I don’t know how I can get a fair process when he is the judge, jury and executioner. You’re assuming it will be fair, but it’s not.”



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