I think this is a fair question, and it’s not just about Roger Goodell. I mean, we could easily make it about Roger Goodell and say that he’s just a bad guy and he treats everybody like crap, but that’s not it. It’s much deeper than that. It’s the league’s policies and how it, corporately, treats the players and their information.
When information in the bounty case gets released and players have to find out they were suspended by the league on TV, then I think that the league has a major trust issue with their players. That’s something that none of us can fix. Only the league can fix that.
Yes, the league does have policies and procedures, but are those policies and procedures designed to help their employees and all players, or are those policies and procedures designed to make the players as low as possible so that the players will not fight back?
If you are intent on just making the players feel more subserviant, then there is no reason to give them any sort of leverage or feeling of control over their careers. So, to answer the question, will the players ever trust the league?
I think it’s too late for that. The league is determined to run a very tight ship and make sure that the players know their place. So, that means that the players are just waiting for the other shoe to drop and are just hoping against hope that they do not end up in the crosshairs of the commissioner. Then, and only then, can they be assured that they are not going to be the targets of what they would view as a smear campaign.
Trust is gone, but, the football moves on. I think we’ll always get more football and more good football–relationships, eh.