Did his lockout leadership hurt Drew Brees’ image?
With the NFL lockout looking to be in its final days, there is much carnage to look back upon and examine. Lots of angry words were exchanged between the two sides during the more than 100 days of the lockout, and those angry words and sentiment appear to be in the past, at least for now.
Some of those heated works came from the mouth of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was the vocal leader of the Player’s Association during the lockout. While he often made good, intelligent points from the players side, not everyone took kindly to Brees’ leadership role.
He was roundly criticized for using harsh terminology, like saying NFL owners “smelled blood in the water” when former Players Association President Gene Upshaw passed away in 2008, which Brees said caused the owners to demand a new collective bargaining agreement since he thought the players would be weak without Upshaw.
Additionally, he spoke out for taking care of the league’s former players, but has faced criticism, and a lawsuit, from some NFL veterans after they claim Brees misrepresented their plight after retirement. Former Packer great Jerry Kramer called Brees “ignorant and stupid” for those comments.
Although he may have taken flack for some of his comments during the lockout, he kept the players united and ultimately helped them get a good deal that should be passed in the next week or so. While owners across the league likely aren’t happy with him, his comments will be forgotten in short order once he starts putting up his MVP-type numbers again, and making almost every other owner in the league with they had Brees on their team.