49ers

Saints' Drew Brees shows he's part of America's problem, not solution

Saints' Drew Brees shows he's part of America's problem, not solution

Drew Brees outed himself Wednesday. Told us he’s not listening. That he’s committed to being part of America’s conspicuous problem instead of aligning with those seeking a solution.

Even after all we’ve witnessed in recent days, the Saints’ superstar quarterback still can’t accept someone kneeling before the flag, or during the national anthem, in pursuit of justice.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country,” Brees told Yahoo Finance.

This is it’s not much of a surprise to anyone who heard Brees speak on social issues. Still, it is profoundly disappointing that one of the NFL’s superstar quarterbacks, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, can fail so epically in the face of such graphic evidence of injustice.

Brees tried to explain his position by saying his two grandfathers fought in World War II, putting their lives at stake for a better America.

“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,” he said. “And in many cases, it brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed, not just those in the military. For that matter, those in the civil rights movements of the ‘60s. And all that has been endured by so many people up in until this point.”

Those who might have thought Brees more perceptive than his comment indicates now know better. Those who assumed he might be among those who have experienced some sort of racial awakening in the wake of the George Floyd murder, slapping him into the plight of those unlike him, now realize that it’s not there.

And it’s not coming – because, again, he is not listening.

Colin Kaepernick’s decision to peacefully protest by kneeling during the national anthem was never about the military. Kap actually consulted with Nate Boyer, a retired member of the Green Beret, who concluded kneeling would be the most elegant and least disruptive form of protest.

Does Drew not know this?

Or does he not care?

Many of us, including myself, have relatives that have served in the military. My father and my mother and my brother are buried in a national cemetery. Yet their service to their country did not insulate them from the racism that results in unwarranted detainment, unlawful arrests, being victimized by a discriminatory banking system and steered to specific neighborhoods when shopping for a home.

Not to mention the constant potential of police brutality, which was at the core of Kaepernick’s protest as well as the outrage that has spread around the globe.

[RELATED: Bruce Maxwell's kneel still sparks hate, misunderstanding]

“Is everything right with our country right now? No. It’s not,” Brees conceded. “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.”

That last line is the most accurate in Drew’s statement. We can do better, and we must all be part of the solution. But those words ring hollow in the full context of what he had to say.

Brees is a wealthy white man. So maybe, deep down, he sees the quest for justice something best left to others. How else can such ignorant comments be interpreted?

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Javon Kinlaw isn't afraid of a few deadly weapons.

The 49ers rookie showed off a seemingly dangerous drill on social media Friday in a video posted by defensive line trainer Cam Spence.

You're correct, those are in fact a pair of knives being wielded and sent in Kinlaw's direction as he bats them away. We've seen a similar drill from two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

[RELATED: Richard Sherman calls out report on 2020 NFL season negotiations]

Kinlaw was the 49ers' first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, going No. 14 overall. The South Carolina product plugged up the middle for the Gamecocks' defense, picking up six sacks and recovering two fumbles. He likely will have an immediate chance to contribute, as All-Pro DeForest Buckner's departure to Indianapolis leaves a void in the 49ers' defensive line.

The rookie, along with a few returning players looking to earn a contract, will be imperative to make sure that void is filled in order for the 49ers to replicate the dominance the team enjoyed in 2019.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

The Brandon Aiyuk hype among 49ers fans has grown exponentially ever since he was drafted 25th overall in April.

The sixth receiver to come off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, Aiyuk is expected to make an immediate impact with his elite breakaway speed, which he showcased numerous times during his two seasons at Arizona State.

But based on the just-released Madden 21 ratings, Aiyuk isn't even among the fastest wide receivers in his rookie class. In fact, he's just the sixth-best rookie wideout according to the video game's new ratings, checking in at 72 overall.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

The rookie receivers' overall ratings were almost identical to their draft positions, with the Denver Broncos' Jerry Jeudy and the Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb swapping places being the only alteration.

When it comes to speed, however, Aiyuk checks in as the 10th-fastest rookie wide receiver, behind a handful of players drafted well behind him.

[RELATED: George Kittle 'really proud' of team's offseason work, effort]

Aiyuk's 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn't exactly elite (4.54 seconds), but during his senior season, he was tracked with a top in-game speed of 21.97 mph -- a mark bested by just three NFL players in 2019.

Game speed is different than track speed, and Aiyuk brings game speed in spades every time he takes the field.

Guessing those ratings might be adjusted once Aiyuk actually sees some on-field action in a 49ers uniform.