New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is facing backlash for comments he made during an interview with Yahoo Finance. The QB was asked about George Floyd and what he thought about the possibility of his death bringing back kneeling as a sign of protest when the NFL returns.
On Tuesday, Brees participated in #BlackoutTuesday across his social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. The blackout movement was made to stop posting about our own lives for a day and focus on spreading awareness for reform that is desperately needed across the US and world. A great sentiment by the veteran QB to post. He followed that up Wednesday morning with another post on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
Words to unite.. A mentor of mine once told me that if you listen closely, the sound of children playing is the same no matter where you are in the world. The laughing, shouting, screaming, giggling… No matter what language you speak, no matter what your race, color, religion… the exact same. At some point we all change… The reasons… Our environment, experiences, education…The voices and influences around us. If you are reading this, you are probably one of those whose voice and influence is very powerful in the life of a young person. So when you ask what difference you can make in this world… It’s exactly that. Raise, teach, but most importantly model to young people what it is to love all and respect all. There is a saying in every locker room I have been in… Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better. “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”
“If you are reading this, you are probably one of those whose voice and influence is very powerful in the life of a young person,” he wrote. Another nice gesture making me think that Brees understood the impact he has with his platform as a household name in the NFL. Then he spoke to Yahoo Finance and the backlash started to roll in. He was asked about the kneeling protest that are possible to return when the NFL season does and his opinion on how the NFL should respond to the protests. Brees opened up by saying that he will never agree with someone disrespecting the flag before going on a long tangent about what the flag and Anthem mean to him. He ended his comments by saying that standing with your hand over your heart shows unity and that we’re all in this together.
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 agree with not disrespecting the flag, however, taking a knee is not a sign of disrespect. Let us not forget that it was an ex-Green Beret was the one who suggested that Colin Kaepernick kneel instead of sitting on the bench. Also, growing up I was a cheerleader, during games when any of the kids would get hurt on the field they all got down on one knee, cheerleaders included, on both teams as a sign of respect for the injured player. Kaepernick was just shining a light on the US being injured.
Brees’ comments took off like wildfire across Twitter. Many NFL players have spoken out about his comments, even LeBron James chimed in.
Devin and Jason McCourty:
This is a disgrace! To speak about your grandfathers as if there weren’t black men fighting next to them.Those men later returned to a country that hated them. Don’t avoid the issue and try to make it about a flag or the military. Fight like your grandfathers for whats right! https://t.co/qag3Igic3V
— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) June 3, 2020
He’s beyond lost. Guarantee you there were black men fighting along side your grandfather but this doesn’t seem to be about that. That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem https://t.co/ON81UsOWPw pic.twitter.com/HH3EVTIH8p
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) June 3, 2020
men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitement. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong! God bless you. 🙏🏾✊🏾👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 3, 2020
He don’t know no better.
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 3, 2020
— Jamal Adams (@Prez) June 3, 2020
If you don’t speak up about racism, then you’re apart of the problem. This man said the flag … trash
— AJ Brown (@Brown1arthur) June 3, 2020
.@drewbrees the reason my children have to live in a world that won’t empathize with their pain is because people like you are raising your children to perpetuate the cycle. Drew, you are the problem.
— Douglas Baldwin Jr 🧢 (@DougBaldwinJr) June 3, 2020
I saw another tweet, which I can no longer find, that said that they didn’t think that Brees was a bad person but he needs to educate himself more. That person is absolutely right. This isn’t an issue that has anything to do with the flag, it’s about human rights. Calling for unity in his first post of the day and rescinding on it later on by saying that he will never agree with someone disrespecting the flag is a little hypocritical.
-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)