Saints’ Drew Brees apologizes for anti-protest comments
New Orleans quarterback says that his remarks were ’insensitive’ and lacked ’any type of compassion’
New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, drew intense criticism when he said that he would “never agree with” NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
Today, Brees wrote a long apology for the remarks saying they were “insensitive.”
“They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy,” Brees said. “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 apology was posted on Instagram accompanied by a Black hand and a white hand clasped together.
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.
“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,” the Super Bowl-winning quarterback wrote, “I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our Black communities and still exists today.”
As reported by theGrio.com, Brees said that the anthem often brings him to tears. He said that he thinks 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.”
While acknowledging that America still has a “long way to go” to address racial injustice, Brees said, “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.”
Still, some suggested that Brees would never get back the Saints locker room and should retire.
Drew Brees should probably retire pic.twitter.com/61nuI7jjys
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) June 4, 2020
The comments were widely condemned by fellow NFL players and NBA players like LeBron James who said on Twitter, “WOW MAN!” James wrote, “You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee??”
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 🇺🇸 and our soldiers(men and women) who keep our land free. My father-in-law was one of those https://t.co/pvUWPmh4s8
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 3, 2020
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!