Brittany Brees: We are the problem, we are sorry
After Drew Brees apologized multiple times last week for suggesting that NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem disrespected the country, his wife apologized as well.
Brittany Brees posted a lengthy message on Instagram that featured two quotes from Martin Luther King: in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends,” and, “Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people, but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”
Her own comments started with Brees writing, “WE ARE THE PROBLEM.”
“I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts,” she continued. “I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times and every time I read it and the words sink into my heart. I think yes this is what it’s all about. Only until the last few days, until we experienced the death threats we experienced the hate did I realize that these words were speaking directly to us. How could anyone who knows us or has had interactions with us think that Drew or I have a racist bone in our body? But that’s the whole point. Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one an another as God loves us. We can feel good about educating our children about the horrors of slavery and history. We can read books to our children about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X., Hank Aaron, Barack Obama, Rosa parks, Harriet Tubman and feel like we are doing our part to raise our children to love, be unbiased and with no prejudice. To teach them about all of the African Americans that have fought for and risked their lives against racial injustice.”
“Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing. Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM. To say ‘I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag’ I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notions of what that flag means to us.”
“That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt, we will do better. We want to do better, we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry.”
In March, Brittany and Drew Brees were widely praised after they announced they were donating $5 million to organizations that give food to the needy. Now they’re making a different kind of statement.