Former Saints first team All-Pro offensive lineman Kyle Turley introduced a new perspective to the analysis of the Saints bounty program. During a radio interview Monday, Turley charged the players union with the responsibility of investigating and stopping the bounty programs that provides financial incentives for players to injure other players. He specifically targeted Drew Brees, who is not only the union representative for the Saints, but also an NLFPA executive.
“What people really need to do is they need to be meeting with the union and anybody from with the Saints. They should be meeting with Drew Brees, because Drew Brees is not only a union representative member for the New Orleans Saints, he’s an executive board member,” Turley told Craig Shemon on Yahoo! Sports Radio. “And I would like to know personally what he knew about this bounty system because he’s not only in charge of the safety of his players in that locker room in New Orleans, he’s supposed to be in those meetings responsible for all players across the league as it pertains to those types of issues. Where has the union been in this? That’s what really needs to be found out.”
Turley said he understands why players would not have a problem taking a few thousand dollars to hurt a fellow player.
“It’s an attitude that has been perpetuated by the league, the union, and the way they’ve negotiated collective bargaing agreements. To the layman, that means the NFL and the teams have no responsibility whatsoever to the players’ health and safety. That attitude bled into the players into the locker room ‘you all are expendable, so make it while you can. Get the wins while you can. It’s all about today, it’s not about tomorrow. It’s all that kind of attitude.'”
Turley wants to change that attitude, and he thinks a leader like Brees needs to be held responsible — and possibly punished — for his inaction.
“If you’re going to suspend guys like Gregg Williams, then you’ve got to suspend Jonathan Vilma and all these other guys who are antying up this money, and then you’re really going to have to take a hard look at suspending Drew Brees. I want to know how much he knew. He is a representative for the union and for his players in that locker room and for their health and safety.
“My career got cut short because of poor attention to my injuries, and you’re now talking about an issue of careers being damaged intentionally. Everybody’s out there trying to play hard … but if there’s incentives to go out and harm players, that’s crossing a big line.”
Turley says players received monetary rewards when he played, but they weren’t really to take players out. He described what the process was like.
“Oh yeah, the briefcase comes in and opens up and the coach usually has a big old wad of money rolled up and gives it to the winners.”
If you take the issue of player bounties seriously, it’s hard to disagree with Turley. He wants the punishment to start from the top down and he wants the players to take each others’ health more seriously.
H/T Pat YasinkasGoogle+