Roger Goodell has been called out by one of the NFL’s most trusted ambassadors. Drew Brees says the NFL commissioner did not speak to any New Orleans Saints players after the now infamous non-call, despite Goodell’s comments to the contrary.
Brees was on the “Dan Patrick Show” when he said Goodell hadn’t spoken to any Saints players.
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) February 1, 2019
Previously, Goodell appeared to say he did speak to the players. That prompted Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief to say Goodell was a liar.
“The man literally stands up on a podium and just lies. It’s mind blowing. He is the commissioner of the biggest sports league in the country, and it is totally cool with all the people who employ him, the 32 owners, that he just lies to everybody,” Strief said on WWL Radio.
Michael Thomas also made it clear Goodell never spoke to Saints players about it.
He ain’t talk to us
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) January 30, 2019
The league has since issued a clarifying statement in which it acknowledges Goodell never spoke to the players about the non-call.
However, it’s easy to understand why they thought he did say he had, if you account for the spoken work versus the punctuation utilized in the league’s official transcript: “Listen, we understand the frustration of the fans. I’ve talked to Coach Payton,” a league-issued transcript read, per Mike Triplett of ESPN. “The team, the players, we understand the frustration they feel right now, and we certainly want to address that.”
Take away that period after “Coach Payton,” and it’s easy to understand why people thought Goodell said he had talked to the players.
The Saints aren’t going to get over this any time soon, especially based on what head coach Sean Payton appeared to be wearing in his most recent press conference. And honestly, nobody can blame them.