Drew Brees doesn’t want players kneeling this season
Like millions around the world, Drew Brees participated in Tuesday’s #BlackOutTuesday movement designed to amplify black causes and show solidarity with the black community.
The next morning, during an interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees was asked for his thoughts on the strong probability of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic racism this season.
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.”— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 3, 2020
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
Brees’s response was pretty startling given that the passionate protests are now in their second week following the murder of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers.
Brees went on to explain to Daniel Roberts that when he sees the flag, he thinks of his two grandfathers that fought in World War II. Brees echoed the sentiment he shared following Colin Kaepernick’s protest, that the anthem is “an opportunity for us all to stand up together.”
Four years ago, when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee, he explained that when he sees the flag he sees systemic inequality like the mass incarceration of blacks and innocent blacks being murdered by police, hence the protest. These issues are at the heart of the ongoing protests and sear deep in the black community and well beyond. In recent days, many key NFL figures of all races have joined the movement.
From poignant messages to joining the protests to deep donations, quarterbacks from Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson to Joe Burrow and Kirk Cousins have displayed massive acts of activism. This swelling of support puts an even bigger spotlight on Brees’s untimely comments.
Saints star wideout Michael Thomas took issue with his quarterback.
He don’t know no better.— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 3, 2020
It will be interesting to see how the rest of New Orleans reacts. Blacks and African-Americans make up 60% of the city’s population.