After days of outcries, particularly from former NFL offensive linemen, for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees to address the Saints’ bounty program, it has happened.
Brees posted on his website. You can read it in its entirety here. But the highlights are that Brees, a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee, said he had no knowledge of the bounty program. He also said there’s no room for such programs in the NFL. Brees also said NFL players should strive to serve as examples of integrity to young fans.
Here are a few excerpts:
“There is no place in the National Football League, or any sport played at any level, for players to conspire, to be coerced, or to be incentivized to intentionally injure another player. I did not participate in any Bounty program, nor did I have any knowledge relating to its real existence. I have spent the last several years as an Executive Committee Member of the NFLPA making health and safety a priority and I am proud of the advancements we've made and will continue to make.
“As a leader of our football team, I feel comfortable in stating that I know well the integrity of our organization from the ownership level, to management, our head coach, and the players on our team. We, as Saints players, pride ourselves on playing this game with honor and hold ourselves to a very high standard.
“The accusations and perceptions alone created by this issue make us feel like we should all apologize to the young people that love our game and aspire to be in our shoes. Regardless of the outcome of the "bounty" issue, we owe it to them to provide the best example of how to behave as professionals and more importantly, as people of integrity.’’
Brees also said people should wait until the investigation is finished before making any final decisions on how they view the Saints.
“To our fans, please reserve judgment until the investigation is complete and the facts in their entirety are known,’’ Brees said. “We are all working diligently to find the truth in this matter and if the facts prove there was improper behavior, we will hold ourselves accountable. Until that time, we will stand together and remain united as an organization.’’