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Vilma vows to fight one-year suspension and to clear his name

The Sports Xchange
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New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended Wednesday for the 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for Vilma's reported involvement in the Saints' bounty scandal, vows to clear his name.

In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon through the offices of his attorney, Mitch Frankel, and agent Tony Fleming, Vilma intends on clearing his name and will seek reinstatement.

"I am shocked and extremely disappointed by the NFL???s decision to suspend me for the 2012 season," Vilma's statement began. "Commissioner Roger Goodell has refused to share any of the supposed evidence he claims supports this unprecedented punishment. The reason is clear: I never paid, or intended to pay, $10,000, or any amount of money, to any player for knocking Kurt Warner, Brett Favre or any other player out of the 2009 Divisional playoff game, 2010 NFC Championship Game or any other game.

???I never set out to intentionally hurt any player and never enticed any teammate to intentionally hurt another player. I also never put any money into a bounty pool or helped to create a bounty pool intended to pay out money for injuring other players. I have always conducted myself in a professional and proud manner.

???I intend to fight this injustice, to defend my reputation, to stand up for my team and my profession, and to send a clear signal to the commissioner that the process has failed, to the detriment of me, my teammates, the New Orleans Saints and the game."

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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