NFL quarterback Drew Brees can add one more fumble to his career total. The New Orleans Saints star is the latest public figure to spark backlash over his comments surrounding his beliefs on the National Anthem and the United States flag. On Wednesday, Yahoo Finance interviewed Brees and asked him about his stance on the recent nationwide protests in response to George Floyd’s death. When asked about NFL players participating in Colin Kaepernick’s “take a knee” National Anthem protest against police brutality, Brees shared: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. … I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag, with your hand over your heart, is it shows union.”
… Soon after his video interview made the rounds online, many athletes called Brees out. LeBron James wrote, “WOW MAN!! Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free….”
Among those posting on social media were an emotional Saints safetyMalcolm Jenkins, who said in an Instagram video: "Our communities are under siege, and we need help. And what you're telling us is don't ask for help that way. Ask for it a different way. I can't listen to it when you ask that way. We're done asking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem." (video below)
UPDATE: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized early Thursday after saying that players kneeling during the National Anthem are "disrespecting" America in comments that drew the ire of teammates and others beyond the NFL.
“In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country,” Brees said in comments posted to social media.