Goodell speaks briefly about Vilma lawsuit

AP Pro Football Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has briefly addressed the defamation lawsuit filed against him by New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma after he suspended Vilma for the 2012 season.

Goodell also has spoken Tuesday about the league's relationship with the players union, which has been marked by recent contentiousness, including grievances, appeals and the suit.

Goodell says he has "not spent a lot of time" on Vilma's lawsuit, which contends that the commissioner made false statements that tarnished Vilma's reputation and hindered his ability to earn a living playing football.

After three decades in the NFL, Goodell says he understands "you are going to make decisions that will not be unanimous, it just doesn't happen, particularly in a game where there is a lot of emotion, a lot of passion."

But he recognizes his main job is "to do what is in the best interests of the game long term."

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