Drew Brees Apologizes For Comments About Kneeling Protesters

By Bill Galluccio

June 4, 2020

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is apologizing for comments he made earlier in the week in which he said he would not support players who protest against police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem. Brees was asked how he would feel if, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, players began taking a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner, as Colin Kaepernick did back in 2016.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America," Brees said during an interview with Yahoo! Finance. "Is everything right with our country right now? No, it is 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."

His comments sparked an immediate backlash from his teammates, as well as other athletes, including LeBron James and Stephen Jackson.

"You literally still don't understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free," James tweeted. "My father-in-law was one of those."

On Thursday (June 4), Brees issued a lengthy apology on Instagram.

"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," Brees wrote.

View this post on Instagram

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. 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. 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.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

Photo: Getty Images

Chat About Drew Brees Apologizes For Comments About Kneeling Protesters

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.

Connect

© 2020 iHeartMedia, Inc.