Published On: Thu, Aug 25th, 2016

Brees: NFL lost public, players' trust

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees believes the NFL eroded public trust in the league through its lack of transparency in handling a series of high-profile disciplinary issues.

The NFL’s come under scrutiny in recent years for its approach to domestic violence incidents, as well as the “Deflategate” saga involving Tom Brady, which led to his four-game suspension.

Brees described a frayed relationship between the NFL and the NFLPA in an appearance Wednesday on CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney.”

“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.”

The “Bountygate” saga eventually resulted in a season-long suspension for Saints head coach Sean Payton.

The current CBA runs through the 2020 season. Brees expects the lack of checks on the commissioner’s current disciplinary powers to be among the big issues in negotiating a new agreement.

“I don’t know if anything gets changed between now and the next CBA negotiations. Obviously, that will be a great point of interest when they do come around. … There should be compromises. It should be fair for both sides. I just don’t feel like we’re ever in a position as players where we’re really fighting a fair fight.”

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