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League responds to Vilma suit, reiterates commitment to safety and integrity


WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 28: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell testifies with others before the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries on Captiol Hill October 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. A recent NFL study of retired players suggested that N.F.L. retirees ages 60 to 89 are experiencing moderate to severe dementia at several times the national rate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Original Filename: GYI0058760681.jpg


The NFL has responded to the lawsuit filed Thursday by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma against Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation.

“We have not yet reviewed the filing,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email. “However, our commitment to player safety and the integrity of the game is our main consideration. We recognize that not everyone will agree with decisions that need to be made.”

Goodell will have 30 days to formally respond to the complaint, once it is officially served. It will be far more detailed than the paragraph appearing above, and it likely will consist of an effort to dismiss the case, possibly under the argument that the labor agreement supersedes the litigation process, forcing Vilma to file a grievance under the CBA.