New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees sharply criticized NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, one day after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had his four-game suspension reinstated by a federal appeals court.
Brees said Goodell shouldn’t be trusted and has been a “black eye” for the NFL.
“I think we would all agree that he definitely has too much power,” Brees told SI.com. “He is judge, jury and executioner when it comes to all the discipline. I’m not going to trust any league-led investigation when it comes to anything. It’s not transparent.
“I think this was an issue again where the commissioner’s authority was challenged and the league is gonna do whatever they can to make sure they know that he is in position to make these types of unilateral decisions, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.”
Goodell was pleased with the decision that restored the Deflategate penalties and defended his high level of authority.
“We think it’s important that the commissioner protect the integrity of the game, that you can’t entrust that to someone who has, really, no understanding of our business,” Goodell told Bloomberg TV.
Brees began questioning Goodell’s ability to make sound decisions when the Saints were harshly disciplined during the 2012 Bountygate case.
“We’ve been witness to this down in New Orleans firsthand,” Brees told The Rich Eisen Show. “There’s just so much mistrust from the players’ perspective and the fans’ perspective. Nothing’s transparent about it. It happens behind closed doors and you always feel like there’s an agenda at play.”
Saints coach Sean Payton served a one-year suspension in the Bountygate case. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith (shot to death earlier this month), linebacker Scott Fujita, and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove were suspended and later had their suspensions vacated by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
“At the end of the day, all those (players) were vindicated,” Brees said. “But unfortunately the damage is done, their reputations took a hit, and the perception is there was something going on just because that’s what the league drove down your throat with this.”