Drew Brees

Quick Links

Drew Brees apologizes for comments on kneeling during national anthem

Drew Brees apologizes for comments on kneeling during national anthem

Drew Brees drew mass amounts of criticism Wednesday after telling Yahoo Finance he, "will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," when asked his thoughts about players kneeling during the national anthem. 

On Thursday morning, Brees took to Instagram to issue an apology. 

"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," Brees wrote. "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," he said. "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."

Professional athletes from all over condemned Brees' comments amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd. From DMV stars like Ed Reed and Mark Ingram to Saints teammates Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Malcolm Jenkins, the outrage over Brees' comments was vast.

In a lengthy apology, Brees took responsibility for his comments and acknowledged he must do more to help the fight for equality. 

"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," Brees continued. "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," he said. "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."

Brees extended his contract with the Saints in March's free-agent period by agreeing to a two-year, $50 million deal. 2020 will mark his 20th season in the NFL.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Ed Reed on Drew Brees' comments on kneeling during anthem: 'You’re a straight sucker'

Ed Reed on Drew Brees' comments on kneeling during anthem: 'You’re a straight sucker'

Count Ed Reed among Drew Brees' many critics after Yahoo Finance shared a clip of an interview with the veteran passer in which he stated that he will never support a player kneeling for the national anthem.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said.

Reed, like many others, was not pleased to hear a main figure in the NFL carry that mindset during such an important time of civil unrest in America. Responding to Brees' comments, the Hall of Famer let the quarterback know exactly how he felt.

“Imma just get straight to it. I see Drew Brees do his part in trying to keep black folk down," Reed said. “You’re a straight sucker for that [expletive] Drew Brees...Drew Brees you’re a straight sucker, man. You’re a sucker for that, bro.”

Reed said his frustration stemmed from Brees not understanding what kneeling for the national anthem is truly about, and the fact that it is a peaceful protest. The act that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began was meant to bring attention to the racial injustice and police brutality in the country, not intentionally disrespect the flag.

Being angry about the looting going on across the country is one thing to Reed, but speaking out against players protesting in a peaceful manner is something he could not wrap his head around.

“Why you think all these young people out here protesting? Why you think they out here protesting?" Reed said. "The looting? I could see you speaking on the looting and saying that’s bad, you don’t support that. But why do you think all these young people are out here protesting?"

Reed ended his remarks by addressing those who may defend Brees or still support him in the future due to his play on the field. To the former Raven, wins are not an excuse to justify an action.

“For all my Saints fans, for all my New Orleans people who still like your [expletive] just because they want to win games. Ya’ll right with him, you understand?" Reed said “Drew Brees, you’re a sucker, you’re going to be a sucker. You understand? Punk, man.”

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

On Dwayne Haskins' birthday, where were other NFL quarterbacks when they turned 23?

On Dwayne Haskins' birthday, where were other NFL quarterbacks when they turned 23?

Congratulations to Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who turned 23 years old on Sunday. Haskins is set to begin his sophomore NFL season as Washington's starter at the position, an impressive feat for someone that young.

To get an idea of what we might expect from him in Year 2, and also to get a sense of just how much can change in the course of a young NFL career, we took a look at every NFL quarterback who was at least 24 last season and made 14 starts - plus a few veterans who missed the cut for injury reasons - to see where the NFL's best stood on their 23rd birthdays, too.

Lamar Jackson (Jan. 7, 2020) / Patrick Mahomes (Sept. 17, 2018): Jackson and Mahomes are young enough that it seems strange to look back on them turning 23. That was less than five months ago for Jackson. But they deserve their own category considering both have already won NFL MVPs at such a young age and Mahomes is a Super Bowl champ. This isn't a fair comparison for Haskins. 

Drew Brees (Jan. 15, 2002): Turned 23 just after his first season as a starter for the then-San Diego Chargers, who started 6-1 but missed the playoffs that year. Brees threw 16 INTs to just 17 TDs and was a long way from New Orleans. 

Tom Brady (Aug. 3, 2000): Celebrated No. 23 during his first training camp with the Patriots as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. The winningest QB of all time threw three passes as a rookie and was almost 14 months from his first NFL start on Sept. 30, 2001. 

Aaron Rodgers (Dec. 2, 2006): Had appeared in just five NFL games when he turned 23. Rodgers would spend the entire next season still waiting for Brett Favre to retire before getting his chance to play and becoming one of the best ever.

Ben Roethlisberger (March 2, 2005): The future two-time Super Bowl champ had finished a remarkable rookie season just six weeks before his 23rd birthday when the Steelers lost to the Patriots in the AFC title game.

Philip Rivers (Dec. 8, 2004): The No. 4 pick in the 2004 draft was biding his time behind Brees in San Diego when he turned 23. Rivers played in two games as a rookie that year, the start of 16 seasons with the organization. 

Matt Ryan (May 17, 2008): One month after being drafted by the Falcons with the No. 3 pick. Ryan was coming off a stellar career at Boston College where he finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2007.

Matthew Stafford (Feb. 7, 2011): Two full seasons into his NFL career, Stafford had started just 13 games since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Detroit Lions, throwing 19 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. 

Kirk Cousins (August 19, 2011): Had yet to even begin his senior year of college at Michigan State. Coming off a junior season in which he completed 66.9% of his passes and threw for 8.4 yard-per-attempt. 

Russell Wilson (Nov. 29, 2011): A few days removed from a 45-7 blowout victory...over Penn State. Wilson was still several weeks away from playing in the Rose Bowl and several months away from being drafted in the third round by the Seahawks.

Derek Carr (March 28, 2014): Five months away from his NFL debut, Carr was still a month away from being drafted by the Raiders when he turned 23.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Nov. 2, 2014): Had come off the bench to appear in three games during his rookie season when his 23rd birthday hit, completing 9 of 10 passes and tossing one touchdown for the Patriots.

 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

Jacoby Brissett (Dec. 11, 2015): Still with one college game left to go, appearing in the Belk Bowl as a senior QB at N.C. State a few weeks after turning 23.

Dak Prescott (July 29, 2016): Drafted by the Cowboys already, but still several weeks away from making his NFL debut when he turned 23. Prescott was coming off a senior season at Mississippi State where he threw 29 TD passes and 5 picks.

Jameis Winston (Jan. 6, 2017): Winston had just finished his second season in Tampa Bay with a 15-17 record after starting every game since being drafted. Had thrown 50 touchdown passes to 33 interceptions and was completing 59.6% of his passes.

Jared Goff (Oct. 14, 2017): In his first season under the tutelage of former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay, Goff was in the process of bouncing back from a terrible rookie campaign. He was completing 61% of his passes and had thrown seven TDs and three INTs.

Baker Mayfield (April 14, 2018): Mayfield was 12 days away from being selected with the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Browns coming off a record-setting college season at Oklahoma.

Deshaun Watson (Sep. 14, 2018):  Turned 23 years old 10 games into his second season with the Texans and Watson already looked like a star with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

So, what does this say about what is to come for Haskins? Not much. Some of the best in the game were already making an impact at 23, while others were still years away. Though the Redskins will hope to see a big leap from the second-year quarterback in 2020, this list shows that he still has plenty of time to grow. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS