With one comment that has been called tone-deaf, insensitive, and poorly timed, Drew Brees has potentially ruined the otherwise shiny reputation and the legacy he spent the last 19 years building. Brees appeared on Yahoo! Finance with Daniel Roberts and he was asked how he felt about players potentially kneeling again this season as they did in 2017 to protest police brutality in the United States.
Considering the current climate of race relations, the millions of African Americans, and other races who associate and support the kneeling protest with blackballed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it’s not shocking Brees’ words created a backlash.
Here is the entire exchange:
As you might expect, the backlash was severe. Here is a look at what many prominent athletes, politicians, and others had to say to and about Brees after hearing and absorbing his comments.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar, future Hall-of-Famer, and consistent champion for those affected by social injustice, LeBron James tweeted the following.
Iconic rapper and actor Snoop Dogg is another person who is never shy about speaking on social issues. He didn’t hold back blasting Brees on social media.
Former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Anthony “Booger” McFarland stresses to Brees, the kneeling protest was never about disrespecting the flag or the Armed Forces, which is what the Saints’ QB referenced in his comments.
Former NFL tight end Martellus Bennett doesn’t seem surprised by Brees’ comments:
Hall-of-Fame safety Ed Reed seemed truly hurt by Brees’ comments, as he tried to keep his words from becoming too profane. He simply referred to Brees as a “sucka” for his comments.
Current NFL safety and former Louisiana State University standout Tyrann Mathieu sought to remind Brees he represents the state of Louisiana:
Terrell Owens posted a tweet from a US Marine who directly contradicts Brees’ statements about the protest being offensive to the Armed Forces:
Perhaps worst of all, Brees received backlash from his own teammates. Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Malcolm Jenkins lowered the boom on their teammate.
Jenkins first said the following:
It should be noted, Jenkins said Brees reached out to him about his comments, but the former said he still went through with this second video on his Instagram account:
Michael Thomas and Other New Orleans Saints
What many are trying to explain to Brees and others who share his thought concepts is the kneeling protests were never about disrespecting the flag, and especially not the Armed Forces.
Stances like Brees’ are being taken as a deflection or shift in focus from the main issue. That’s what is widely believed to have happened to Kaepernick’s cause overall. It went from being about police brutality, which was his original intention, to a standoff with the NFL, patriotism, and respect for the United States military.
Perhaps after the backlash Brees is currently enduring has subsided, there will be a different understanding of why Kaepernick and other protestors who support the Black Lives Matter movement have been kneeling.