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LeBron James takes issue with Drew Brees

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss the possibility of national anthem protests returning to the NFL in the 2020 season after the death of George Floyd and riots across the country.

The toothpaste isn’t going back in the tube.

LeBron James, one of the best and most prominent basketball players in NBA history, has taken to Twitter to respond to Drew Brees’ reiteration of his position from 2016 that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

“WOW MAN!!” James tweeted, with a facepalm emoji. “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 [the flag] and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free. My father-in-law was one of those men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitment. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong!”

Some have suggested with a shrug that Brees’ comments shouldn’t be regarded as a big deal because he’s simply saying what he said in 2016, when Kaepernick’s protests began. But circumstances have changed dramatically since the original reaction to Kaepernick’s gesture. A clear and obvious tipping point regarding police mistreatment of African-Americans and people of color has been reached. Hundreds of commentators and athletes have acknowledged if not shouted from rooftops that the murder of George Floyd shows that Kaepernick’s protest wasn’t about the flag or the anthem or the military or anything but about police brutality aimed at minorities.

The talking points on which so many relief in order to deflect from Kaepernick’s message have been rejected by the events of the past nine days, especially with no anthems currently being played at sporting events because there no sporting events are currently happening. Kaepernick’s point has been proven in graphic, painful terms and, frankly, if his message had been taken seriously four years ago, George Floyd and others would still be alive.