NFL superstar Drew Brees is getting an important lesson in social justice right now… let’s just hope he’s really listening and paying attention!
The New Orleans Saints star came under a social media firestorm on Wednesday due to comments he made about fellow players kneeling during the National Anthem in a new interview. Dude, are we really still talking about kneeling during the anthem like it could ever compare to black people being routinely brutalized and murdered by cops?! Come on, man!!!
The 41-year-old quarterback was talking with Yahoo! reporters on Wednesday when the topic of fellow (former) QB Colin Kaepernick‘s decision to kneel for the national anthem came up in light of the nationwide protests going on this week. Brees quickly stated that, while he respected the right to protest, he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States.”
As you can see (below), the Purdue University alum didn’t hesitate to share his (incorrect) opinion about the supposed motivations of those kneeling during the pre-game ritual:
Highlight: @readdanwrite asks @drewbrees what the star NFL quarterback thinks about "players kneeling again when the NFL season starts."@drewbrees: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 3, 2020
Drew, WTF?! Even George W. Bush understands this stuff better than you do!
Almost immediately (and thankfully), the call-outs began. Professional athletes from all walks of life spoke up to correct Brees about how the kneeling has never been about disrespecting the anthem, or the military, or anything related! It’s always been about the unjust policing of black and brown communities, and the persistent unjust treatment of people of color! That’s what it’s always been about, Drew!!!
LeBron James led the charge against the high-profile quarterback, tweeting his displeasure about Brees’ comments in a pair of messages posted to his official Twitter account (below):
“WOW MAN!! ??♂️. Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of the flag and our soldiers(men and women) who keep our land free. My father-in-law was one of those men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitment. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong! God bless you.”
Well said, King James!!
Aaron Rodgers, star quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, further explained the meaning behind the movement, sharing his own inspiring photo on Instagram with a special message for Drew and others who misrepresent the meaning:
Let’s educate ourselves, indeed!
After more than a dozen other pro athletes — many current and former teammates fo the star New Orleans quarterback — called Brees out for his uninformed stance, the football player finally thought better of it.
Early Thursday morning, the 2001 Rose Bowl participant found it within himself to apologize for the comments and attempt to make amends online. Sharing an IG post to his official page, the embattled veteran signal-caller wrote in part:
“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community, and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”
The athlete continued from there, adding:
“This is where I stand. I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.”
Here’s the full post, with his entire message of apology and a promise of future support (below):
It’s very well written, of course, and Brees says a lot of the right things, without question. Certainly, we can appreciate his apology, and his attempt to improve himself with it and in the future.
But does he really mean it? We only ask because, well, this little controversy isn’t the first time the star QB has rattled off harmful right-wing talking points and espoused non-inclusive ideas. Just saying!!!!
What do U make of this whole controversy, Perezcious readers? Can U appreciate and accept Brees’ apology here or are you skeptical?! Do U think he truly listened and learned something about racial injustice after all this?
Sound off with your take on this important issue down in the comments (below)…
[Image via Ivan Nikolov/WENN & ABC]