New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has a Super Bowl ring, is an NFL record holder and a future Hall of Famer. During his career, he has invested his time and money to the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, most recently donating $5 million to COVID-19 relief. Despite all of that goodwill, Brees is facing serious backlash with many of his New Orleans teammates and with players around the NFL for comments he made in an interview with Yahoo finance.
Brees was asked about National Anthem protests made famous by former NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick, who began taking a knee during the anthem to protest social injustice for minorities. Given the current climate and following the death of George Floyd, Brees was asked if he would understand players taking a knee this year and how he would respond.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America," Brees said. "Let me just tell you 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 Ward II, one in the Army and one in the marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and 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."
You can see all of Brees comments below
Brees is now facing backlash from not just NFL players, but athletes from around the sports world and from his own teammates, including former Buckeyes Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins.
Jenkins, who has been active throughout his career, discussing social injustice issues, including the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, posted an emotional response to Brees. Jenkins was clearly shaken, disappointed and angered by Brees comments.
Today should be interesting for the Saints. The team has a virtual team meeting. According to reports in New Orleans it was already on the schedule. After Brees' interview, the meeting could have a completely different tone than originally planned. Brees may have smoothed the waters a bit, with an apology posted on social media Thursday morning.