Drew Brees f*cked up. The New Orleans Saints quarterback has apologized after his tone-deaf answer to how he’d feel if NFL players were to kneel in protest before games in lieu of the unrest currently occurring across the nation, and the globe.
UPDATE (June 5, 9:45AM): Drew came with a video apology, too.
By now you’ve surely heard about how Brees pretty much ignored the state of the world when he told a reporter, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Brees also made sure to mention that his grandfathers are veterans, which has nothing to do with why NFL players would kneel—in protest of Black people being murdered by police.
The backlash was swift, with names like LeBron James, Richard Sherman, Aaron Rodgers and more calling out the MAGA-friendly QB for his awful timing and headass logic.
And now, Brees has apologized. This morning (June 4) Brees took to social media and posted a corny image of a Black and a white person’s hand in a grip (what happened to social distancing?) with a statement that includes, “I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.”
Despite all the good Brees has done (he donated $5 million for meals to the needy in New Orleans due to the coronavirus pandemic), his words were like a slap in the face to his fans and teammates.
Peep the full and lengthy statement below, as well as how his peers with way more heart explained just how badly he fumbled.
I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.
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. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.
This is where I stand:
I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.
I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.
I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.
I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.
I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.
I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.
For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.
We will give credit to Brees for manning up (could be just be savvy PR, but only time will tell). Again for the people in the back, Black Lives Matter.
1. LeBron James
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. My father-in-law was one of those https://t.co/pvUWPmh4s8— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 3, 2020
King James was easily the biggest and one of the first sports stars to read Brees the riot act. “Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee??,” he wrote.
2. Richard Sherman
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
“He’s beyond” lost said the San Francisco 49’ers defensive back.
3. Arik Armstead
Another NFL player reminded Brees that Kaepernick kneeled after discussing how to protest with a veteran.
4. Jerseys are burning.
5. Macolm Jenkins
I recorded a few videos when thinking of how to respond to Drew Brees, I don’t take any of it back-I meant what I said-I removed the 1st video because I knew it be more about the headlines. I want people to understand how those of us struggling with what’s going on feel pic.twitter.com/T054qt0YEz— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) June 3, 2020
Brees new old teammate posted and deleted messages before landing on this one (including one that include a “shut the f*ck up), but he stands on what he said.
6. Wendell Pierce
To @DrewBrees :My 95yr old father fought in WWII at Saipan risking his life for the United States of America, a country that had little respect for himWhen he returned to New Orleans he was denied his right to vote, his right to live where he wanted & most of his civil rights...— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) June 3, 2020
Bunk from The Wire came with the receipts.