Pat Williams took part in a very interesting interview with Sirius NFL Radio on Saturday night -- a full article on the appearance is available over at FOX Sports, but here are the quotes of interest from Phat Pat's interview:
"Basically now I got to hold trust issues with the NFL. I don't know if I can trust them now."
"I don't blame the judges. I just feel sorry for the other guys [the three Saints players], because basically me and Kevin's case is still going on. So the other guys I feel bad for because they basically threw the union case out."
"If I did something wrong, I'm going to take it. But they knew about it and didn't tell the players."
"I earned everything I got. I came into the NFL undrafted, I earned respect from other players, I earned respect from other coaches, I earned all of that. The NFL ain't gave me nothing. I earned everything that I got. I'm fighting basically just to get my name cleared."
Can ya blame him for having trust issues with the NFL? True, players are ultimately responsible for what they put in their bodies, but the league dropped the ball big time by not giving fair notification that StarCaps contained a banned diuretic -- and this has certainly created animosity in more players than Phat Pat after such an inexcusable failure. In fact, as it turns out, Judge Magnuson said almost the exact same thing as Williams did when he issued his ruling on Friday:
"There is no doubt that it would have been preferable for the NFL to communicate with players specifically about the presence of bumetanide in StarCaps," Judge Magnuson writes at page 18 of his opinion. "The NFL’s failure to do so is baffling, but it is not a breach of the NFL’s duties to its players. It is clear that this situation arose because the parties to these cases do not trust each other. The NFL does not trust the Union or the players. The players and the Union do not trust the NFL. No one believes that the opposing parties have any common interests. The situation is deplorable and leads to suspicion and the sort of no-holds-barred litigation tactics so clearly on view here."
It's been a continuing theme of this soap opera -- the consequences of the Williams Wall's court battle go well beyond the Minnesota Vikings and the ability of their defensive line to be intact when the season starts. Judge Magnuson is absolutely on-target in highlighting the problematic relationship between the Union and the league, and this hostility could lead to big trouble down the road.