Drew Brees is a kind, gentle statesman. But he’s also not a guy who’s bought into the anti-American sentiment so prevalent in our country today. In a recent interview, Brees argued standing with hand over heart for our flag during the national anthem can unite us. Based on the reaction from many, you would have thought he endorsed the KKK.
“Shut the f*** up!,” New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said during a video directed at Brees. Jenkins also called Brees’ comments unfortunate because he considered his teammate a friend.
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The firestorm Brees finds himself in started after a Yahoo Finance reporter asked the Saints’ quarterback how the NFL should respond if kneeling during the national anthem returns this upcoming season.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees answered.
Brees went on to describe what he feels when the national anthem is played before games.
“I envision my two grandfathers who fought for this country during World War II, one in the army and one in the Marine Corps, both risking their lives to protect our country and trying to make our country and this world a better place,” said Brees. “So, every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about and in many cases, it brings me to tears.”
Brees went on to praise the sacrifice of our military and those who took a stand during the civil rights movement of the sixties. Brees also acknowledged all is not currently right with America and we still have a long way to go.
“But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect for the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better, and that we are all part of the solution,” said Brees.
Brees’ call for patriotism and togetherness was met with blistering attacks from fellow athletes.
Louisiana born NFL great Ed Reed tweeted, “I see Drew Brees do his part to keep black folk down. You’re a straight sucker, man.”
Former NFL receiver Doug Baldwin tweeted, “Drew, you are the problem.”
Former Saints running back Khiry Robinson tweeted, “Why y’all acting surprised. Drew Brees from Texas. YEEEEEHAAAA”
Even Brees’ current go-to receiver, Michael Thomas, weighed in on twitter calling him out, “He don’t know no better.”
Marques Colston, former Saints receiver said about Brees’ comments, “If you can’t open your mind and be humble enough to hear someone else’s pain and experience, then you’re a bigger part of the problem than you want to admit.”
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, like Jenkins, called for the silencing of Brees, writing, “You can’t just be saying s*** out your ass.”
The response that got most attention came from a tweet from NFL superstar and Los Angeles Laker, Lebron James. James has a track record of demanding silence from those with whom he disagrees.
“Wow, Man!” tweeted James.
Rapper Snoop Dog called the Brees comments bulls*** and echoed others' demands for the quarterback’s silence, tweeting the acronym for,” shut the f*** up.”
The underlining theme here is toeing the line and not questioning the predominant narrative that America is an oppressive and racist nation. No one expressed that sentiment better than Brees’ teammate Cam Jordan.
“He’s been the leader and a guy I can rely on the field,” Jordan said of Brees. “Well, off the field (Brees) has to align. I can’t allow people to tippy-toe on the line of this issue.”
One day after Brees stood up for respecting our flag, he caved to the demands of conformity by the unbending mob promoting their anti-American narrative. Early Thursday morning, Brees issued a detailed apology for his comments.
A 2018 NBC News poll shows most Americans agree with Brees on the national anthem. 54% polled said they do not approve of NFL players kneeling before games. And yet the much-beloved Brees was forced to apologize for expressing the popular position of standing for country and flag. How disappointing.
Email Dan Fagan at Faganshow@gmail.com