New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees criticized NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the way he has handed out punishment to players through the years, saying the league's current system is “unilateral” and has "no checks and balances."
The Saints were hammered by Goodell in 2012 for allegedly paying bounties for injuring players on opposing teams. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season and general manager Mickey Loomis was given an eight-game ban. Four players were punished in various ways for their roles in the scandal. Goodell heard their appeals and meted out the discipline.
“Too many times, I'd say especially over the last few years, a punishment's been handed down and nobody has really seen the evidence except for those in the league office—supposedly," Brees said, according to ESPN.com. "So decisions were made in kind of a, 'Hey, trust us.' But did the public see any of the facts? Did the accused see any of the facts? In most cases, no."
Brees did not comment when asked if Goodell should lose his job because of the recent scandals involving domestic violence and child abuse, but he did say that the league's disciplinary process needs to be more transparent.
"I think that this has been a long time coming," Brees said. "It's really unfortunate that all of this had to happen in order for this to transpire or for this to become evident."
- Scooby Axson