Despite the protests taking place across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is still not for NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality during the 2020 season.
On Wednesday, Brees spoke with Yahoo Finance and says he still views anthem protests as disrespectful to the flag, which is something he “will never agree with.”
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.”
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 3, 2020
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place.
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, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to 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.”
Brees faced immediate backlash over his comments about anthem protests on Twitter.
Here’s the problem @drewbrees you’re only talking about YOUR FEELINGS, YOUR EXPERIENCE. Because YOU think it’s disrespectful- but what about – what Colin was protesting for? Does that make sense to you? “We are not all in this together” sounds good but clearly thats not true. https://t.co/sL8BlsaTcr
— Cari Champion (@CariChampion) June 3, 2020
Drew Brees brought up his grandfathers serving in the military as if mine didn’t fight in WW2 too and come right back to the kind of conditions domestically that inspire people to kneel today. https://t.co/kWcCXXgRB7
— Joel D. Anderson (@byjoelanderson) June 3, 2020
Drew Brees couldn't even directly say he understood why Colin protested injustice nor that he understood the anger of many black americans. He just talked about what the flag means to him.
But he posted a black box on instagram like he did somethin. That's the issue. https://t.co/bUs3g8AW86
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) June 3, 2020
I truly don’t understand how Drew Brees can still think kneeling is about the flag but also wanna be part of the solution. Is his comprehension bad or he just don’t wanna get it? https://t.co/cMjpGZHrEB
— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) June 3, 2020
Lol a reminder the peaceful protest still isn't acceptable for white people https://t.co/QdhA3tpUpk
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) June 3, 2020
Brees had the nerve to do #blackoutuesday on instagram yesterday then says this today, underscoring that for many the hashtag and black square was performative bullshit. listen, learn, read, donate. https://t.co/0dIvvMCTGk
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) June 3, 2020