As illustrated above, the relationship between the New Orleans Saints and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wasn’t always bad. However, the discipline levied against the Saints in response to the bounty scandal has left a bad taste in Drew Brees’ mouth. Speaking with Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King, Brees shared the view of the Commisioner from the players’ perspective.
- On the 16-game Payton suspension: “I was utterly shocked. Shocked. And the way the suspension works — it’s like, You’re cut off right now. We [the NFL] are going to tell you who you can and cannot talk to over the next year. [Payton is forbidden from talking to Saints players or front-office members.] That is completely ridiculous.”
- On NFL players’ attitudes to Goodell: Brees got quiet and thought for a moment, then said: “Nobody trusts him. Nobody trusts him. I’m not talking about a DUI, or using a gun in a strip club, which are pretty clear violations. I think there’re too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a façade. I think now if a guy has to come in to talk to Roger, he’ll be very hesitant because he’ll think the conclusion has already been reached.”
The solution to this issue is simple: stay out of Roger Goodell’s doghouse. Hearing players gripe over Goodell’s power and the way he doles out discipline is akin to punk teenagers whining over being grounded for months after knowingly breaking the rules set before them by their parents. Had the Saints not engaged in activities that lead to the Commissioner sanctioning investigations into their behind the scenes methods, Brees and the Saints wouldn’t find themselves in the unfortunate situation they are currently mired in. That can be said for any player who has been punished during Goodell’s tenure. You want to avoid feeling as if you have been unfairly punished? Try staying out of trouble. It’s as simple as that …