ESPN’s Attempt at Jonathan Vilma Character Study Fails after Vilma Finds Out
With all the hype about the terrible replacement refs, it seems as if everyone forgot about the other NFL drama the last couple weeks. Well the New Orleans Saints just welcomed themselves back into the news thanks to Jonathan Vilma.
Except it isn’t completely Vilma’s fault. Allegedly ESPN’s “Feature Producer,” Barry Abrams has contacted NFL players via mail, asking if they would be interested in participating in a “character study TV Feature” for SportsCenter on Jonathan Vilma and Gregg Williams.
Abrams made just one small mistake when deciding whom to send it to,Eric Barton. Barton was teammates with Vilma back when they played for the New York Jets.
Vilma was one of the New Orleans Saints players involved with the bounty scandal and Williams was the defensive coordinator. Williams is indefinitely suspended by the NFL for arranging a pay-for-performance bounty system from 2009-2011.
Original allegations claimed Vilma offered $10,000 to any Saints player that knocked out Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner from the divisional title football game. He was also accused of doing the same to Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game. Earlier this month Vilma’s suspension was lifted, as well as the other players.
So this “character story” that was going to be aired would have been the good guy vs. bad guy story since the case is still not yet over. Clearly the information to Barton got out and Vilma had access to the letter shortly afterwards.
Vilma was not very thrilled at ESPN’s “secret” attempt, as he made it well known to the Twitter world what had happened as he tweeted the picture. Abrams’ phone number and email address were in the letter and numerous fans tweeted they were going to contact him. Shortly after that the phone was turned off and we will have to wait and see what ESPN has to say about the dilemma.