Several days ago, Big Easy Magazine published an article noting that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has long been allied with Focus on the Family, a Christian group that supports, among other things, conversion therapy for gays and lesbians. It also opposes same-sex marriage and allowing LGBT people to adopt.
The subject came to a head when Focus on the Family distributed a video with Brees endorsing "Bring Your Bible to School Day," a project of Focus on the Family:
Since then, the topic has been debated on New Orleans social media, with some expressing surprise and disappointment, while others say Brees' religious and political beliefs have been well-known throughout his career in New Orleans.
Others have been confused, given Brees' well-known friendship with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, and his filming a PSA for the "It Gets Better" campaign, which assures bullied LGBT kids that life can improve.
A sampling of the takes:
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback, records video produced by anti-gay group Focus on the Family https://t.co/njbw7YgZS6— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 5, 2019
We knew @drewbrees was conservative but it's disappointing he's lending his face to a video targeted at schools on behalf of an bigoted organization that presents a threat to the lives of kids who weren't born to fit into their little Christian box. https://t.co/BTaCh1mTWf— Louisiana Atheists (@LA_Atheists) September 3, 2019
Look, y'allz...I have no problem with @BigEasy_Mag whacking Drew Brees for cutting a commercial for that gay-hating Dominionist rag Focus on the Family, and also rooting for him on Sundays to drop 400 yard, 40 pt whoopings on fools en route to another #Saints Lombardi Trophy.— RGC_AnthonyJK -- Sex Lefty🌹#TrumpsterIsAFASCIST (@RGC_BPPA) September 4, 2019
So Drew Brees is doing sponsored ads promoting far-right Christian group “Focus on the Family” now? According to Wiki they strongly oppose LGBTQ rights, abortion, pre-martial sex and divorce while teaching creationism and abstinence.... pic.twitter.com/5dvK3Nc4Hw— Alex (@indigo_alex) September 3, 2019
Today Brees released an Instagram video addressing the controversy.
"Hello, everyone," Brees begins. "There's been a lot of negativity spread about me and the LGBTQ community recently based upon an article that someone wrote with a very negative headline that led people to believe that somehow I was aligned with an organization that was anti-LGBTQ. ... I'd like to set the record straight. I live by two very simple Christian fundamentals, and that is: Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and: Love your neighbor as yourself."
Brees speaks a bit more before the video cuts off abruptly, but nowhere does he address the specifics of his relationship to Focus on the Family — which means the matter may not be put to rest.