Joe Horn Apologizes to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Slams NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith

joe horn

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Joe Horn was a superhero throughout the Gulf region. 

Head over to Bleacher Report to check out former Saints receiver Joe Horn’s words as told to me, Michael Tillery, regarding the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as it happened back then. He said some things I did not know. Horn was the Saints’ face of the effort to return the Saints to New Orleans, because was as involved as anyone after the storm. He gave his time and money like few others, and says that people didn’t leave despite all the warnings to do so (there was much criticism from folk outside of the New Orleans) because it wasn’t the storm damage that devastated the region, it was the four levees breaking in the middle of the night that eventually trapped city residents. During our convo, Horn offered an apology to Roger Goodell after he was very critical of the NFL Commissioner in May. His words of NFLPA Head DeMaurice Smith are also very critcal, strong to the point, and something the NFL at-large needs to hear.

“As far as my statements criticizing Roger Goodell on his disciplinary practices, I’m going to back up and recant what I said. I’d like to apologize to him. I did that interview after being upset at all the decisions he was making with all that power. I really, really, really want to apologize to Roger Goodell. Everything I said was really stupid! At the end of the day, the one I should have gone after and criticized was DeMaurice Smith. That’s who I should have said that the players should have fired. What lawyer lets the NFL players he represents sign a CBA deal giving Roger Goodell that much damn power? So, why in the hell am I mad at Roger Goodell? Goodell knows who he is. Shit. Roger Goodell works for the owners. He doesn’t work for the players. He works for the NFL to make the league more money, and be the judge and the jury. You can’t take the whip outta his hand unless you’re DeMaurice Smith and say I’m not signing that deal. It’s simple. DeMaurice Smith should have said “Roger, you cannot suspend a player until he goes to court and the judge and the jury finds he’s either guilty or not guilty. You can’t suspend a player until you find out what’s in the report. DeMaurice Smith works for the players. He’s supposed to tell them, “No, no, no guys. We have to take the power from Roger Goodell’s hands, so let me talk to him and negotiate the power that he cannot have. Because you’re arrested, you’re not going to be suspended until he finds out what you did wrong. No, you’re going to allow the court process to go through, and once they decide what happens, that’s when I’ll decide if you’re to be suspended. Guess what? You may not be guilty.” So, it’s the other way around. I feel so stupid, ignorant and uninformed by going after Roger Goodell, when DeMaurice Smith is the reason he has so much power. I’m making a national apology to Roger Goodell, and I spoke so emotionally because I was pissed off. Thinking it over after a couple of days, I was like damn I need to do another interview. I should have known and spoken that it was DeMaurice Smith, and not Roger Goodell, that gave the league the power to treat players like slaves. To clarify, I mean white, black, Mexican – any player in the NFL. Back in the day, there were white folk in the cotton field too.” – Joe Horn

There you have it. It will be very interesting to see if Horn’s words cause ripples within the NFL Player’s Association regarding DeMaurice Smith and the rest of union leadership. Players are checking lists and makin’ ’em twice for those representing their interests like never before because corruption is a helluva drug. Last season was hellish on the NFL and its brand, so how will the league respond internally to such a public relations disaster and rebuild trust with fans externally? Check the player conduct first (ultimately it’s their responsibility to do the right thing), the sweat under DeMaurice Smith’s collar second, and lastly, the consistency, moral rationale and strength of Roger Goodell’s hand when player misconduct — perceived or otherwise — comes into question.

This should be a most compelling year for the NFL. The preseason has never generated this much evenly distributed buzz. That’s a testament to such a dramatic Super Bowl, the drastically over inflated idiocy of Deflate Gate, casual fan convos of player misconduct, CTE and general player safety, the league’s ever evolving talent, and of course the unrelenting explosion of social media.

Work stoppages across sports have given fans reason to educate themselves on the inner workings of unions, how those unions process collective bargaining agreements, league leadership in all regard, and of course, salaries and salary caps. The NFL is such a marketing juggernaut that fans clamor for everything falling under its brand, and because of that reality, it appears everyone associated with the league is and should be under scrutiny as well.

8 Responses to “Joe Horn Apologizes to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Slams NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith”

  1. mapoui says:

    Trememdous from Horn. Finally a frontal attack on the disgusting DeMaurice Smith, a traitor to the players interest.

    I look at the players union all over itself to represent Tom Brady who by all circumstances is a cheat, while Robert Griffin is caught between a pincer and hard place in Washington DC and the uinion pays no intertest.

    what in the hell is DeMaurice and the union waiting on, for Griffin to end up dead or paralyzed in Washington?

    I have never seen such lack of responsibility by a union in what is a public spectacle..the utter insanity of the ownership, management and coaching in DC.

    Jay Gruden is deliberately openly, unmistakably trying to get his QB hurt badly enough to make him a permanent non factor on his team. and no one in authorityon either side of the football divide, is saying or doing a dam thing about this open insanity in the NFL.

  2. mapoui says:

    Jay Gruden’s sanity must be questioned…..

    it is quite obvious that he hates his QB and would like to play one of the other 2 he has on his team.

    the question begs: why does not Gruden as head coach make the decision to bench Griffin permanently, play McCoy or Cousins and live by his choice, sink or swim?

    who is forcing Gruden to play Griffin?

    and even if they are and he does now want to, then he must state his case period with the obvious red line..’I play Cousins/McCoy regardless. they are my choices, they fit my system, I am happy with them. if you want Griffin then get another coach’

    that is the idea..and on that basis he should not have taken the job to coach washington DC because the QB there is not the man he wants? why take the the job and end up in an open conflict that exposes both himself and the washington organization to be quite dysfunctional, quite insane

    I have never seen such full blown insanity on a sports field like this. and again no one in authority is doing anything about it.

    that washington NFL franchise..I refuse to use the name an a public sporting eyesore that the NFL should do something about. maybe the NFL should take away the team From Dan Snyder and sell it to a real sports-minded owner

  3. Michelle says:

    I’ve always thought the NFL had the worse union of all the major sports teams BY FAR!!! Joe just confirmed that in my mind..

  4. mapoui says:

    now Griffin has been prevented from playing this weekend. is this a good development?

    my concern only is that RG3 escapes Washington in one piece so I don’t care if he sits this entire year get out of Washington with his millions go to another team or get out of football entirely. go do something else.

    Griffin has a brain he can and should use it at something more uplifting than NFL football. go rub shoulders with a better level of people routinely, daily, in some progressive pursuit. leave the Gruden’s of this world where they should be, in their depths of insanity.

    I mean Gruden would not mean a dam thing to me save his relations with RG3. his insanity could have shone as brightly as it does now I would not care. but he is endangering a perfectly good and potentially great QB and human being, and that is ridiculous

  5. Darius says:

    RGIII is overrated. There is no evidence that Gruden is “deliberately” trying to injure him. Sounds like a whacko conspiracy theory from propagandists with their own agendas.

  6. C says:

    Terrible union. Good for Horn. Gruden pathetic

  7. mapoui says:

    my agenda is to have Griffin on a team that wants him and builds around him. that would give us a great QB in RG3… a pleasure to watch on football Sundays

    what is your agenda darius?

  8. Had Joe on my show Saturday to elaborate on the Bleacher Report piece as well as his words above.