Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a member of the NFL Players Association’s Executive Committee, and he’s speaking out on behalf of the union as it wages a P.R. campaign against the owners.
“The fact is this has been a very successful business, and a very successful business partnership for a long, long time,” Brees told Albert Breer of the Boston Globe. “And last year, we experienced the highest revenues we’ve ever experienced. And as players, shoot . . . how’s the system broken? But now we’re being told the system is broken. Until that’s proven to us, all we’re seeing is that revenues are as high as they’ve ever been.”
Brees’ argument is the same as that of NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith: The owners need to open the books. And Brees says that until the owners open the books and prove otherwise, the players have no reason to believe the current system needs to change.
“We’re making a percentage of the revenue,” Brees said. “So we share on the upside and we share on the downside. And all it’s been is upside.”
The huge ratings for the Hall of Fame game are a reminder that it’s been all upside for the fans, too, who are watching more football than ever before. And a reminder of how much of a good thing the NFL and the union stand to lose if there’s a work stoppage in 2011.