NFL Denies Gag Accusations in Saints Bounty Program
The NFL is denying the accusation that is placed gag orders on certain Saints employees that might have helped the players suspended from the 'bountygate' scandal clear their names.
Suspended Saints player Jonathan Vilma's lawyer Peter Ginsberg stated that the NFL and it's lawyers placed gag orders on certain key Saints employees that might have helped with witness testimonies during the appeal hearing that was held earlier in the week.
The Associated Press got a hold of the transcript that took place during the hearing and it shows that the players and lawyers in attendance formally asked Goodell to recuse himself from the appeal proceedings because he isn't capable of being unbiased. Throughout the bountygate's history, Goodell has consistently stood behind his punishment's for the players. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello stated that the players and their lawyers were able to bring anyone they wished, including coaches and staff. This was after the NFL Players Association and Ginsberg asked the NFL to compel several witnesses to appear hearing, including suspended head coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis and more.
Most of the players at the hearing eventually stopped participating and just listened due to the fact that they believed that the hearing was completely unfair according to the NFL's current labor agreements.
One player even left during the middle of one session, Jonathan Vilma and his lawyer, stepped out after asking Goodell to withdraw his punishment for Vilma and apologize to the public. This is also in light of Vilma having a separate lawsuit for defamation outside of the scandal at the time being.