NFL Players Don’t Trust Commissioner, Union President Says

National Football League players don’t trust Commissioner Roger Goodell, affecting talks on issues such as testing for human growth hormone, according to union president Domonique Foxworth.

Foxworth said it’s hard to get things done when incidents such as the fight between the NFL Players Association and the league over the New Orleans Saints bounty case have fractured trust.

“If I wanted to get them to trust Roger, I couldn’t,” Foxworth said yesterday on a conference call with reporters. “There was a bridge beginning to be built, and then there were some recent events that kind of broke that bridge again.”

Foxworth’s comments come in advance of meetings between the league and union at the NFL Scouting Combine, which is set for Feb. 23-26 in Indianapolis. Foxworth said a neutral arbitrator might improve relations.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail that the union “has consistently looked backwards” on issues such as discipline and growth hormone testing.

“Trust is a two-way street,” he said. “If the union wants to work together to build a better, safer and even more popular game, we extend our hand in partnership and respect. If the union wants to stir up old grievances and create mistrust, we will simply have to do the best we can to serve the interests of the fans, players and the game.”

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