Drew Brees became a trending topic on Twitter Wednesday afternoon after saying he would disapprove of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem this upcoming season: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
The New Orleans Saints quarterback explained when he hears the anthem he thinks of his grandfathers that fought in the military and taking a knee during the song would disrespect the flag.
Highlight: @readdanwrite asks @drewbrees what the star NFL quarterback thinks about "players kneeling again when the NFL season starts."@drewbrees: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 3, 2020
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
Many online found the comments insensitive or ill-informed given the nationwide outcry against systemic racial injustice in this country in response to police brutality, and more specifically the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police Custody last month.
That includes Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who quote tweeted a video regarding how Fox News host Laura Ingraham responded to LeBron James and Kevin Durant’s ‘freedom’ of speech, which blasted President of the United States Donald Trump, and Drew Brees’ comments about taking a knee during the anthem.
How can you say all this bad stuff about Lebron and KD. But then you go against what you say when it comes to Drew brees https://t.co/z7mPBftEJ7— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) June 4, 2020
Here’s a side by side look of Ingraham’s comments:
On LeBron James and Kevin Durant: “It’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who makes $100M a year to bounce a ball. Oh, and LeBron, Kevin— you’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So, keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, ‘shut up and dribble.’”
On Drew Brees: “Well, he’s allowed to have his view about what kneeling and the flag means to him. He’s a person. He has some worth. This is beyond football. This is totalitarian conduct. This is Stalinist. And by the way, on the streets of New Orleans, they’re shouting ‘F*** Drew Brees.’ That’s what this moment has done to the beautiful team spirit of the New Orleans Saints.”
LeBron James and Kevin Durant are black. Drew Brees is white.
Both took a stand for what they believe in, but were met with very different responses from the right wing television host.
James and Durant were criticized by Ingraham after calling out President Trump in a ‘Uninterrupted’ video with Cari Champion.
“The number one job in America, the point of person, is someone who doesn’t understand the people and really don’t give a f*** about the people.” — LeBron James
“I feel like our team as a country is not ran by a great coach.” — Kevin Durant
Each person was speaking their truth and the response was met with hypocritical responses.
Brees has since apologized for his comments.
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.
“We still feel the hate off decisions we make that we feel like is best for us,” James said. “Having the word ’n*****’ painted over my gate— that tells you I’m not too far removed and I’ve still got a lot of work left to do. No matter how far money or access or how you become in life as an African American man— they will always try to find a way to let you know that you’re beneath them.”
James, as well as Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett, remain incredibly active on social media to fight against racial injustice. They’re using their platform to amplify the voices that have been silenced and hope to create substantive change.