- The Washington Times
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Drew Brees apologized Thursday for his comments about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, writing in an Instagram post that they were “insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.”

On Wednesday, Brees told Yahoo that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” when asked about the possibility of NFL protests starting again due to the death of George Floyd — sparking widespread backlash, including from Brees‘ own teammates. 


A day later, Brees said he was “sick” with how those comments were perceived.

“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,” Brees wrote. “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.”

A number of prominent athletes had called out Brees for his initial remarks. NBA star LeBron James said kneeling during the anthem had nothing to do with disrespecting the flag. Richard Sherman called Brees “beyond lost.”

On Thursday, Brees said he has “ALWAYS” been in ally and condemns police brutality. He admitted he doesn’t know what it’s like to be black or to raise black children, but said he will “work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.

I take full responsibility and accountability,” Brees said. “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.”

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.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Jun 4, 2020 at 5:22am PDT


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