Drew Brees Can’t Believe Deflategate Is Still a Thing Either
Like the rest of us, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees can’t believe Deflategate is still a thing.
A federal appeals court Monday reinstated the four-game suspension imposed on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady by the NFL for his alleged role in the deflation of game balls prior to the AFC Championship Game in 2015. A Manhattan judge previously ruled in favor of Brady.
In an interview with USA Today’s For the Win, Brees said he thought Deflategate was over, and compared the Byzantine ordeal to Bountygate, the scandal that rocked the Saints in 2012, resulting a yearlong suspension for head coach Sean Payton.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily about Brady. I think it’s more about the commissioner’s authority to levy that type of a punishment, and him be the unilateral decision maker when it comes to player discipline on a lot of those decisions,” Brees said. “If there’s any disagreements, there’s no level of neutrality. ‘This is my decision, this is how it’s going to be.'”
Brees said that while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has done some good for the league, none of the players expected him to wield power like he has throughout Deflategate, which he calls a “black eye on the league.”
“There’s no level of transparency as to the investigative processes,” Brees said. “That’s the part that’s hard to understand and to deal with from a player’s perspective, and from a fan’s perspective, as they read it and try to understand why certain things have happened. What’s the basis? What are the grounds? What are the facts? We never get to see that.”
In Bountygate, the league accused Saints players and coaches of issuing bounties for intentionally injuries opposing players. Goodell dealt some of the most severe punishment in the league’s history, though all parties were eventually vindicated and the accusations found to be baseless.
“But at that moment, I think everyone realized, wow, this is the type of power the league has, the commissioner has,” Brees said. “They can literally conduct an investigation, lead it to a certain direction to the agenda they have, and literally have no facts or truth or basis behind it, but we’re all supposed to believe that this is what happened.”
You can read Brees’ full interview here.