Drew Brees Says He Is ‘Sick’ Over How His Remarks Regarding Kneeling in the NFL Amidst the Social Injustice America Is Facing Right Now Were Perceived
As At The Buzzer previously reported, during an interview with Yahoo! Finance on June 3, Drew Brees was asked how he felt about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial profiling of African Americans.
This was Brees’ response:
“That’s not an easy question to answer. But at the end of the day, I think my response via social media today was basically to reinforce my belief that God created us all equal. And I think that we all have a responsibility to love each other and to respect each other. And I try to live my life by two basic Christian fundamentals that is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. And I think that we accomplish greater things as a community, as a society, and as a country when we do it together.
And I think we are all equipped with great talents and abilities and we can use that with each other and for each other. I think we can accomplish some amazing things. And obviously, these are trying times for our country, certainly coming out of this COVID crisis and then entering into another crisis. I think we all recognize the changes that need to take place and I do think it’s about action. You know everybody’s going to social media and kind of saying their peace. Obviously there are riots and protests, people are out their certainly showing their frustrations as well. But I think at the end of the day, we need to find ways to work together, provide opportunities for one another, to continue to move our country forward to a bigger and better place.
I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during WWII, one in the army and one in the marine corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem that’s what I think about. And in many cases it brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the 60s and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution.”
It should be noted that Brees also took a knee once before a game in support of his teammates.
Sadly, many of his teammates, other players around the NFL, and people, in general, are saying Brees’ response missed the mark. Since Colin Kaepernick kneeled for the first time in 2017, there has been an uproar over what statement the former quarterback was trying make.
Many turned against Kaepernick believing that by him kneeling for the national anthem, he was disrespecting the American flag, and the men and women who have fought and died fighting for our freedoms to be able to make the sort of stance Kaepernick was taking. However, as the world has seen in the past two weeks, Kaepernick and those who soon followed weren’t disrespecting our armed forces but they were trying to shed light on the social injustice in America, police brutality, and the racial profiling black and non-white communities face every day.
This is how one of his teammates, Malcolm Jenkins, responded to Brees initial statement:
(Warning: Some of the language used in this video may be found offensive to some.)
Now Brees is apologizing for his remarks.
The Saints quarterback wrote that he is “sick” over the way his comments were perceived, but that he takes “full responsibility and accountability” for his words.
“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.”
Brees continued his apology by making it apparent that he is an ally to the black community and stands with them in the fight against systemic racism and police brutality.
“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. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.
I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.”
Brees concluded his apology by writing, “I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.