New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said he did not cooperate with the NFL's investigation of the Saints bounty system, because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would not show him the evidence of his alleged misdeeds, NFL.com reported Thursday.
"We asked for evidence and he wouldn't give it to us," Vilma told NFL.com while at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. "How can I defend myself when I don't know what I'm defending against? It's just logical, things that people decided to ignore."
Asked whether the NFL Players Association told him not to cooperate, Vilma said he asked for evidence, and Goodell would not share it.
Vilma has been suspended for the 2012 season for his alleged part in the Saints' bounty system. Vilma is appealing the decision.
Vilma's lawyers have launched a defamation lawsuit against the NFL, saying the punishment is making it difficult for him to work in the NFL.
"There was no bounty program in place," Vilma said. "I never paid anybody, intended to pay anybody, that's the truth. Never sought out to injure people. That's the truth. That's really about it. I can't really go into detail."
Later, Vilma tweeted this about the lawsuit: "Roger goodell has asked for a delay to respond to my defamation suit. He was granted until july 5th to respond. Interesting"
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello responded via email to NFL.com regarding Vilma's comments.
"He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline," Aiello wrote. "He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence."