Ginsberg further asserted that Williams and Cerullo offered retractions of some of their initial statements to the NFL in the investigation, and that the league has neglected to share that information. Aiello denied such retractions were ever made.
Ginsberg also accused the NFL of distorting evidence introduced at the appeals hearing, including an email from marketing agent Mike Ornstein to Williams, who the NFL says ran a bounty program from 2009 to 2011.
In the email, Ornstein tells Williams he gave him ''1,500 last week, I will give you another 1,500 the next four game (sic) and the final 2,000 the last 4.'' Ginsberg asserts that the NFL included the email as evidence even after Ornstein told Goodell the email related to a Gregg Williams charity.
The NFL declined to comment beyond its assertion in Monday's hearing that the total amount of money the email discusses -- $5,000 -- matches the amount listed next to Ornstein's name on a note outlining pledges made as ''seed money'' to a performance incentive pool that rewarded big plays as well as injurious hits.
Ginsberg told the commissioner he imposed a ''misplaced punishment'' which ''cast a shadow not only on Mr. Vilma personally and professionally, but, I dare say, on the NFL and on the office of the commissioner in engaging in these proceedings.''
He then concluded his statement by urging Goodell to ''rescind any punishment against Mr. Vilma and to apologize in public for what you have done.''
Not long after making those statements on the record, Ginsberg, who is also representing Vilma in a separate defamation lawsuit against Goodell in federal court in New Orleans, left the hearing with Vilma in protest, They did not return for an afternoon session.
Later in the hearing, Kessler said the remaining three punished players, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Green Bay defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, and linebacker Scott Fujita, would listen to the remainder of the hearing, but would decline to participate because they believed the proceeding lacked elements required to meet the standard of a ''fair hearing'' under the NFL's current labor agreement.