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Drew Brees: Labor fight isn’t about players like me

drewbrees AP

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is both a member of the NFLPA* Executive Committee and a named plaintiff in the players’ lawsuit against the NFL.

But Brees says he isn’t fighting for himself. Instead, he says he’s fighting now to make things better for the next generation of players. And, contrary to what Sam Huff may believe, Brees says he’s fighting to get better benefits for retired players.

“I know that I’m fighting for so many people here, this is for former players in the form of improving their pensions and disability benefits to take care of those guys that built this game for us and future players too,” Brees said on XX 1090, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “To be honest with you, this is one of those things that when a settlement is reached, that settlement is something that I’m probably never going to benefit from. It’s guys before me, it’s guys that are going to come after me. So for me, there’s so many guys that made sacrifices before us to make this game better, to improve health and safety in this game, and there’s still many things that need to be done to improve this game. And I think that’s what we have in mind as players, that’s what I have in mind — is how can we improve this game for everybody.”

Brees also did his best to put the lockout in the proper perspective, noting that these are two groups of very rich men fighting over billions of dollars generated by playing a game, and they should be thankful that they don’t have much bigger problems.

“Part of me hates to even talk about our work stoppage and the fact that there’s this $9 billion dollar pie that owners and players are trying to negotiate over and come to a settlement over when you’ve got teachers in California being laid off because of budget cuts, and you’ve got this conflict in Libya that we’re involved in, and obviously the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, our involvement there, you’ve got Japan and the earthquake and tsunami, and you’ve got New Zealand the same thing, you’ve got the oil prices,” Brees said. “I mean, you’ve got a lot more important things that are happening throughout this world that are affecting so many people. So to be sitting here talking about a work stoppage in football is something that seems pretty trivial compared to that other stuff.”

Brees is right: Football does seem trivial compared to that other stuff, and one of the great things about football is that it allows fans to escape from that other stuff. At least, it does when we’re actually talking about the game, and not talking about the lockout.

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45 Responses to “Drew Brees: Labor fight isn’t about players like me”
  1. northeastern31 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:18 PM

    Wow…….you are such a HERO!!!!!

    Shut up Brees….really.

  2. broncfanor says: Apr 4, 2011 2:22 PM

    If he’s fighting for former players then why did they walk away from an offer that INCREASED benefits for retired players?

  3. duanethomas says: Apr 4, 2011 2:23 PM

    Not bad for an uneducated, greedy, ungrateful player…..9 Billion Dollars to share, with men like Brees at the table they will get a settlement done.

  4. assnfootball says: Apr 4, 2011 2:26 PM

    And Brees is right. But the average stupid, unintelligent fan thinks it’s millionaires vs billionaires. Which is hardly the complete story

  5. goawayeverybody says: Apr 4, 2011 2:31 PM

    Super Bowl XLVI: Saints 38, Ravens 17.

    Drew Brees: MVP

  6. doncornelious says: Apr 4, 2011 2:31 PM

    If it is not about you then don’t put your name on the lawsuit.

  7. angrycorgi says: Apr 4, 2011 2:33 PM

    “he says he’s fighting now to make things better for the next generation of players”

    *cough* New Rookie Wage Cap *cough*

    Sure, Brees, sure…the real problem with the players’ position is that it will not benefit anyone BUT the elite level players. This will not raise the minimum salary much if any and the journeyman players will still get the minimum-salary-shaft. This is all about making the rich richer.

  8. blackshirtz says: Apr 4, 2011 2:37 PM

    I USED to respect this guy. Of course he’s fighting for the retired players, in a few short years he will be one.

    Who died and made him king anyway? I think the post Superbowl hype has gone to his head.

  9. duster1982 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:38 PM

    This guy needs to just shut up and stop pretending he’s some kind of martyr.

  10. tony420 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:39 PM

    If Drew really feels this he would have taken to deal that was on the table. What a phony.

  11. bcgreg says: Apr 4, 2011 2:40 PM

    This isn’t about retired players either, moron. The owners included increased benefits for them in their last proposal. It isn’t about future players either. You guys already agreed to a rookie “salary cap”, so you already screwed them.
    Who’s left? Oh, that’s right. The current players are left.

  12. kellyb9 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:41 PM

    @ assnfootball – Sorry for thinking it was millionaires, 500 thousandares is probably more accurate. Sounds like pocket change to me /sarcasm.

  13. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 2:41 PM

    Drew will never learn…. SHUT UP!

  14. 3octaveFart says: Apr 4, 2011 2:41 PM

    Course not… it’s about the elitists and their money grab, like this guy:

    Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

    Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.

    How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team? It’s all in the family.

    His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year’s governor’s race

    Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Good job gov… / snicker

  15. dwoofer says: Apr 4, 2011 2:46 PM

    I applaud him for his statements about the importance of football in light of the economy and the other tragedies around the world. It’s as if he began talking about the NFL stalemate, and then it dawned on him how small football is compared with real life. Pro football exists in a fair market system, based on the value of the product. But no matter how big football is, or will become, it is not more important than lives lost or food on the table for hungry families.

  16. saberstud75 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:47 PM

    “And I think that’s what we have in mind as players, that’s what I have in mind — is how can we improve this game for everybody.”

    I must have missed it when he actually submitted SOMETHING that would benefit the retired players. Everything is about a percentage of the “9 Billion dollar pie.”

    And since he wants to improve this game for everyone, how about making it affordable for the fans?

  17. 2011to2020lions says: Apr 4, 2011 2:49 PM

    Brees should have never walked away from the table that was feeding him and 1500+ others. Now we are all starving while the politicians that we all hate works it out GEEEZ they just don’t get it do they

  18. danetow says: Apr 4, 2011 2:50 PM

    The thing these players have to realize is to get these increased benefits for retired players and so forth they are required to give something up. That is the problem, they don’t want to. Its like they are telling the ownership we won’t accept taking a pay cut, but we want you to increase our retirement benefits…hmmmm sure sounds like they are trying to double dip to me

  19. hobartbaker says: Apr 4, 2011 2:50 PM

    Trivial Pursuit.

    “What is the name of the starting quarterback of the team that paid off the refs to win the 2009 NFC Championship game?”.

  20. bmac187 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:58 PM

    In regards to a rookie wage cap hurting future players:

    That would only hurt future players drafted in the top 10. By putting the wage cap in you wouldn’t have a Jamarcus situation where they overpaid someone who’s out of the league in a few years. That money then could be used down the road for later draft picks who outperform their intial contract.

    Therefore it would benefit all other drafted players, which would be the majority.

    So find a better argument.

  21. biist says: Apr 4, 2011 3:00 PM

    @3octaveFart:
    Right, no union or education dept administration job is every based on cronyism or political donations. /sniker

    The whole union dues–>political donations is one incestuous money laundering operation that was busted by Mr. Walker.

  22. dbellina says: Apr 4, 2011 3:09 PM

    I actually think it’s good that the “big name” guys like Brees are a part of this. They are the ones that actually have the money to pay for the high priced lawyers and everything. Plus they will bring more media attention to the lawsuit than guys on the team no one has heard of.

  23. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 4, 2011 3:29 PM

    Brees should spare us the public relations campaigning here. Fans will not be swayed by him stating the obvious. Rather, he—and the player reps—will be judged by what steps are taken to quickly reach an agreement with the owners and settle the “Brady” case. Speaking of which, where is Brady of the so-called “Brady” case? We’ve heard Brees expound ad nauseum on this matter, but isn’t it the case that Tom has been conspicuously silent? If so, then the question begs: Why?

  24. breeshasabush says: Apr 4, 2011 3:29 PM

    The Vikings are terrible!

  25. frankvzappa says: Apr 4, 2011 3:32 PM

    wait, you mean we are spending billions of dollars a day on endless foreign wars to steal oil, yet keep raising the prices anyway while there are no jobs anywhere and Americans are homeless and starving? and on top of that, the federal reserve private bank is owned by private bankers who charge interest on every dollar, despite this practice being outlawed by the constitution and our founding fathers, who realized that letting the monetary system fall into private hands would lead to Americans waking up homeless on the continent their forefathers conquered? there are bigger problems than no football? say it aint so! Love your country, Fear your government…

  26. mick730 says: Apr 4, 2011 3:41 PM

    “I actually think it’s good that the “big name” guys like Brees are a part of this. They are the ones that actually have the money to pay for the high priced lawyers and everything.”

    Do you really think that Brees, Manning, Von Miller and the other 7 “players” named on this law suit are paying the legal fees themselves?

    Really?????????

    Talk about being out to lunch.

  27. monkeesfan says: Apr 4, 2011 3:48 PM

    If you’re fighting for future players, Drew, then instead of fighting against a new CBA, why not fight to get present players to better manage their finances?

  28. bluepike says: Apr 4, 2011 3:53 PM

    I used to respect and admire you Mr. Brees – now I’ve come to realize that you’re just another self-important phony. Are you going to play forever? Aren’t you going to be retired someday?

    You want us to believe that you’re going to “fall on your sword” for the benefit of others because you think we’ll swallow it. You think this because, like others in your camp, you think we’re all stupid.

    The truth is that you’ve become very transparent to me. This came about early-on when you comported yourself as being antagonistic and uncivil concerning this matter. You must have taken your cue from De Smith. You sir, are classless.

  29. assnfootball says: Apr 4, 2011 3:58 PM

    @kellyb9 …………………………….Your almost there. Now think of their occupation and what these thousandners are risking to play a game that makes your fat behind jump up and down on the couch, thrilled with emotions. Trivial emotions you’d agree, serious work/risk for them.

    Do I feel sorry for them? Probably not, it’s their choice. Owners run the risk of loosing millions of dollars too. But with the benefits of tax payer funded stadium and revenue sharing(some say communism) they aren’t doing bad. I’ve never heard an NFL team make it’s owner bankrupt. If someone had a gun pointed at my head to pick a side, I’ll support the players.

    But really why should we pick sides? when the end game is to stick the fans with the bill at the end of the day. If the owners(the ones who set ticket prices) take more money from the players, does it result in lower prices for the fans? So why should I patronize them? I don’t feel the need to be anti players because they make more money than me while being dumb as a rock – I don’t believe they are, but it’s the general perception. Support the players won’t lead to better fan experience for me. Both sides will eventually sort it out. But as far fans feeling someone is taking their game from them etc. Spare me please, it’s only your game if you get your fat behind on a field and play.

  30. hail2tharedskins says: Apr 4, 2011 4:29 PM

    The owners say its about the money, I believe them. The players say its not about the money, I think they are bad liars. Since they keep saying its not about the money and they are concerned about the fans…
    Here is my suggestion, and it would kill the owners in the PR war – make a proposal to give the owners the concessions they are looking for but with a caveat that 50% of the concessions goes back to the fans in the form of ticket price reductions!!!

    When the players actually do something that resembles that I will believe when they its not about the money and what they are doing is not for them but the fans! But I won’t hold my breath because it is obviously about the money and if they would just admit it and get it out the way people would resent them so much for trying shovel crap at them and expect them to eat it. Just tell the truth, the owners did it and you see they don’t get half the criticism the players are getting. The players don’t understand why they are taking all the criticism when their position is so much more reasonable the owners, nobody believes anything the players are saying because they are lying about the most important aspect of this fight (if you gonna lie about something so obvious we assume you are lying about everything)

  31. thefiesty1 says: Apr 4, 2011 4:30 PM

    Sure it is Drew. I guess you have some land in Westlake for sell, CHEAP too. It’s all about the money – don’t lie.

  32. thingamajig says: Apr 4, 2011 5:08 PM

    Spoken like a true politician. I take he’ll be running for office after he retires so he can save the world.

  33. phreakin says: Apr 4, 2011 5:16 PM

    Had so much respect for the guy before all of this. Now, he’s just another douche with way too much money, way too self important, and self righteous.

  34. Deb says: Apr 4, 2011 5:26 PM

    What’s sad is that so many commenters here have no idea what Drew is talking about. But most of the same people are also in the dark when the discussion turns to oil prices, teachers in Wisconsin, and strife in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They don’t hate the NFLPA and rage at Brees to “Shut Up!” because of the actual issues involved in this labor dispute, but because that’s what their television and radio mentors tell them to do. They’ve been schooled to believe “unions are baaaad” regardless of the industry, circumstances, or issues. So they rant hatred at the players, their spokesmen, and any fan who dares to disagree with their narrow view of the world. If Big Business represents all that is just and true in life, then everyone else must be lying.

  35. marinofreakout says: Apr 4, 2011 5:27 PM

    make it a little more obvious that you sweat goodells job title breesus.

  36. CKL says: Apr 4, 2011 5:29 PM

    biist says:
    Apr 4, 2011 3:00 PM
    @3octaveFart:
    Right, no union or education dept administration job is every based on cronyism or political donations. /sniker
    ________________________________
    3octave must not have a lot of experience with big corporations. Or any corporations. He must be a company of one/self employed. All I know is that ANYONE in a position of power be it politicians on any part of the political spectrum, unions or ownership/management of a company hires idiots and cronies and butt kissers who do not deserve even CLOSE to what they are getting. That’s business. It’s not ETHICAL or RIGHT and it’s INFURIATING if one believes in meritocracy…but that’s the way it IS. It’s also a tough thing to control and prevent.

    I don’t get how Brees thinks what they are fighting for will not benefit him also. ??????
    Don’t gild the lily to try to look better Drew. We all know you guys are fighting for yourselves in addition even if you have good intentions for others. When Drew speaks I always keep in mind that his mother was supposedly a very good lawyer. He may have inherited her lawyer-ness. :D

  37. taco87 says: Apr 4, 2011 5:34 PM

    I don’t know if brees is to stupid to understand the unions tactics of litigation make this labor fight exactly about players like him. With the lawsuit attacking free agency, the draft, and the salary cap if they win the owners, fans, and middle to lower class players lose. The biggest negative for players is the elite will continue to demand outrageous contracts leaving lower tier players to get less than they currently do.

  38. peanutbutter&jelly says: Apr 4, 2011 5:47 PM

    anybody who believes its not about they money for either side is an idiot period.the owners are paying and the players are taking the problem is that the players are being so greedy & short sighted that they don’t understand that they are asking for too much and they can’t understand that there are plenty of other expenses to pay other than thier contracts & bonuses and they also don’t look at what the nfl has done for them, if they were playing in canada or the ufl would they get the same money? would they get the same fame? would they get the same endorsement deals? no they would not and i really hope they come to their senses before they hurt the game anymore than they already have

  39. certtified49er says: Apr 4, 2011 6:29 PM

    All you haters talking trash about Drew Bree’s need to smack yourself. He did more for New Orleans during Katrina then most of you do for your own kids and family.Why wouldn’t he care about what’s going on through out the world when he’s received awards for his charity work? I think most of these cowards just agree with the majority so they can get a thumbs up in the comments. Well, who cares you can give me a million thumbs down. The average, stupid, unintelligent fan is the right word for some of these losers. I wish you were my employee’s because you would get pay-cuts every month just because I need new flat screen TV’s and 32 inch monitors for MY COMPANY!

  40. commandercornpone says: Apr 4, 2011 6:34 PM

    then take yer name off the suit and stop bashing retirees.

  41. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Apr 4, 2011 6:35 PM

    Oh please Mr. Brees.

    You are spinning damage control. Sam Huff called you out as the greedy ingrates just like I have been doing. And now the public has sided against the players so you have to come out here and throw propanga at the wall and hope it sticks.
    You say you will never see any of the benefits of this new CBA, only those before you and after your done.
    WTF, who are you trying to fool? You obviously have snookered duanethomas and other nimwits, but you aint fooling those that matter.
    So you are just attaching your name to a lawsuit and sitting on the negotiating commitee to improve the lives of those players that built this league, and those players coming to New York for the draft later this month?

    Mr. Huff should b!atch slap you for insulting our intelligence

  42. dkeyser says: Apr 4, 2011 6:39 PM

    How is some Vikings fans can still think that the only way the Saints won the NFC championship game was because they “paid off” the refs? How on earth can a rational human being believe such nonsense? Ohhh wait these are the same dumb asses that said they only reason they won the Super Bowl was because of Katrina and the NFL felt sorry for them..Nevermind the fact that the hurricane happened THREE years before that, and nevermind the fact that your team turned it over 8 times and got outcoached at the end of the game..pathetic!

  43. eagleswin says: Apr 4, 2011 8:01 PM

    certtified49er says:
    Apr 4, 2011 6:29 PM
    All you haters talking trash about Drew Bree’s need to smack yourself. He did more for New Orleans during Katrina then most of you do for your own kids and family.Why wouldn’t he care about what’s going on through out the world when he’s received awards for his charity work? I think most of these cowards just agree with the majority so they can get a thumbs up in the comments. Well, who cares you can give me a million thumbs down. The average, stupid, unintelligent fan is the right word for some of these losers. I wish you were my employee’s because you would get pay-cuts every month just because I need new flat screen TV’s and 32 inch monitors for MY COMPANY!

    ————————————-

    There were no pay cuts in the new CBA the owners proposed. The union was guaranteed a 4 percent raise every year for the life of the CBA whether the league made money or not.

    Please learn what you are talking about before speaking

    It is best to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove everyone right

  44. irishjackmp says: Apr 4, 2011 9:54 PM

    I went in to this work stoppage (moderately) on the side of the players but everyntime they open their mouths (Brees in particular) I find myself siding with the owners more and more.

    It’s laughable that Brees says they are looking out for the retirees. For years groups representing the retirees couldn’t even get a meeting with the union leadership…. and now they want us to believe they are holding out to go to bat for down on their luck retirees??? Does he think we are this stupid??? This is the same union that has said repeatedly “we will go back to work under the exact contract we currently play under tomorrow”

    Hey Drew, the exact contract you are willing to go back and play under tomorrow gave the retirees the shaft.

    This union is interested in protecting it’s own interests, period. And they are willing to throw anyone under the bus they have to (read: retiress and first round draft picks) in order to get the best deal they can for themselves.

  45. southernboy150 says: Apr 4, 2011 10:58 PM

    When I read all these Comments that everyone is posting it makes me laugh. All of these educated guesses really sound good but nobody knows what is really going on. For what this man has done for my home state and one of the greatest cities in the world, I trust his opinion to a very strong existent. So to all you blabber mouths that have nothing to do but post stupid crap all the time do yourself a favor and Please shut the hell up! For it’s better for people to think your a fool than to open your mouth and prove everyone right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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