Tom Brady became an alternate NFLPA player rep for the Patriots last year, and getting the quarterback on board was no small victory for the union.
At least that’s the way Saints quarterback, and NFLPA executive council member Drew Brees sees it.
“He’s such a respected name in the sport, and off the field as well,’’
Brees said. “So any time a guy like him steps up and uses his voice to
speak on behalf of some very important issues in regards to labor on
behalf of the Players Association, just to know that we have his support
and that he’s aware of the issues and is able to speak on them, I think
that’s very, very important.’’
There’s more good stuff on the labor battle, the lack of big deals for veteran quarterbacks this offseason, and why it’s harder for higher-profile players to get involved from my conversation with Brees in this morning’s On Football column in the Globe.
But one thing that seems clear is neither quarterback is just a public face for the union. Brees says he is well aware of his responsibility.
“For me, I know the sacrifices players made long before I was even a thought in this league,” Brees said. “So our mentality of past, present, future – those guys sacrificed for us and it’s our job, our duty, to uphold that and make sure we make things better for the guys that are goint to come after us. When you look at the history of the league and how it’s continued to grow and grow, I mean, just from a revenue standpoint it’s the most popular sport in this country.
“More people watched this last Super Bowl than anything in history – any show, period. This is a popular game, this is a game people love. I think this game has gotten us through some pretty hard times in this country. You look at 9/11 and other things. And I think we understand that, we understand more than anybody the bond with your fans, and our fanbase in New Orleans.”