LONDON — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees posted a message on his Twitter account on Friday morning indicating that the Saints will kneel before the national anthem as one on Sunday, then stand once the "Star Spangled Banner" begins.
According to Saints head coach Sean Payton, the decision was made among the players and ownership was not involved.
Saints owner Tom Benson, who served in the Navy, released a statement on Friday afternoon saying he believes in standing for the anthem to honor the military and plans to work with Governor Jon Bel Edwards to work with players and leaders to affect change.
"One of the things I am most proud of is my military service. And, there are few things that are more important to me than the honor that I feel we must bestow upon our military men and women- the honor we must show our flag- and standing at attention for our flag and our national anthem is a powerful symbol we must respect.
As an Owner in the NFL and NBA for years, I have met many players, coaches and staff from seemingly every background possible. But as this week has demonstrated, there are very sensitive, difficult and emotional matters affecting this country. Now more than ever we must find solutions that unite and don't divide us.
Today, Drew Brees and team leadership stated that our team will stand for the national anthem. Regarding the issues of social injustice, I stand ready to offer our Organizations, our players, and our community meaningful support and resources to move from protest to solution.
We have spoken to our state leadership in Governor Jon Bel Edwards- he is also ready to do what he can with us to affect positive change.
With my heart, I respect everyone's very honest and sincere opinions that I have heard personally on this subject all week. We are committed to work with our players and our community to be unified to create positive change for all citizens.
Along the way, when presented the opportunity – I offer that we all thank a military man or woman and honor our flag and anthem- it is that freedom that is allowing us this discussion today. We should and must use this most powerful of platforms to help heal."