Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Roger Goodell
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees knows what it’s like to be the victim of Roger Goodell’s firm disciplinary hand, and he believes that there are major trust issues between the league office and the players.
Brees told CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney on Wednesday that a multitude of factors have combined to bring about the erosion of trust.
“I certainly don’t feel like things should be as contentious as they are,” Brees said. “Having been on the NFLPA Executive Committee for eight years and being a part of those negotiations back in 2011, I feel like I’ve got some interesting perspective, and then obviously going through the Bountygate debacle here and then seeing how that carried over to the way things were conducted with Deflategate and then the Ray Rice issue. It’s unfortunate because I feel like the league has lost so much trust from players and just the public in the way that they’ve handled these investigations, the lack of transparency. They’re certainly in a position where nobody believes anything that comes out of the league office right now as it pertains to really much of anything. You always feel like there’s an agenda at play and nobody’s ever telling you the truth. So, I think that’s the real issue here, the lack of trust.”
Brees singled out Goodell’s role of judge, jury and executioner is a particular issue that needs to be addressed in the next CBA.
“I think as it pertains to commissioner discipline, I think it’s very obvious now that when there’s an investigation and there’s discipline handed down that there needs to be some kind of third-party, neutral person or entity involved so that it’s not decisions being made behind closed doors,” Brees said. “(The league says) ‘Hey, trust us. (Trust) what we found or the results of this investigation.’ We’ve found that we really can’t trust that.”
Brees certainly isn’t alone in his opinions of Goodell’s debatable trustworthiness. For what it’s worth, the NFL and NFLPA have tried to renegotiate his role in player discipline, but to date have not gotten anywhere with it.