Saints’ Drew Brees apologizes for anti-protest comments

New Orleans quarterback says that his remarks were ’insensitive’ and lacked ’any type of compassion’

Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks on from the sidelines late in the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 16, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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.”

READ MORE: Saints’ Drew Brees blasted after saying he’ll never agree to anthem protests

“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.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

“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.”

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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.

 

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??”

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