Drew Brees has likely drawn the ire of many in the African-American community and those who a supporting the Black Lives Matter movement with his recent statements made during an appearance on Yahoo! Finance with Daniel Roberts.
The New Orleans Saints QB and future Hall-of-Famer was asked how he felt about NFL players kneeling again this season to show their displeasure for police brutality in the United States, and the overall institutional racism in the country. Brees’ response has come off as tone-deaf, insensitive, and misplaced to some.
Here’s the exchange:
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.”
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 3, 2020
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the National Anthem as a show of protest toward police brutality, and it is widely believed he has been blackballed from the league by NFL owners for his actions.
Many other NFL players followed Kaepernick’s lead, and in light of what has been happening in recent days, Roberts is correct, it is a safe bet, we’ll see similar protests in the league in 2020–assuming the season begins on time.
The entire country and the world, to an extent, has been in an uproar since George Floyd, an African-American man, was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin while three other officers sat by or stood guard. Chauvin kneeled on the back of Floyd’s neck essentially pressing the life out of him and causing the latter to go into cardiac arrest and death.
Protests have broken out all over the country, and many have turned violent. In the current environment, tensions are high and statements like the one Brees made can potentially stoke a fire that is already raging out of control. There are comments in the post suggest there is irritation, and the backlash has come from the everyman as well as celebrities such as rappers Isaiah Rashad aka Sunny, and Snoop Dogg.
DREW BREES PLAYS FOR NEW ORLEANS BUT STILL DONT SEE WHY BLACK PPL FIGHT FOR EQUALITY..
— sunny (@isaiahrashad) June 3, 2020
Drew u on bullsshit. S. T. F. U
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) June 3, 2020
Even Brees’ teammates have seemingly been bothered by Brees’ comments.
The conversation among Drew Brees and his receivers is going to be fascinating. pic.twitter.com/qVKYBLhtVk
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) June 3, 2020
Drew Brees Has Shown Some Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement
Brees has never presented himself as a racist or even insensitive. In fact, he participated in the BlackoutTuesday initiative on June 2 where millions uploaded a black screen to their social media accounts.
He also followed up his appearance on the Yahoo! Finance show to reiterate his desire for unity.
View this post on Instagram
Words to unite.. A mentor of mine once told me that if you listen closely, the sound of children playing is the same no matter where you are in the world. The laughing, shouting, screaming, giggling… No matter what language you speak, no matter what your race, color, religion… the exact same. At some point we all change… The reasons… Our environment, experiences, education…The voices and influences around us. If you are reading this, you are probably one of those whose voice and influence is very powerful in the life of a young person. So when you ask what difference you can make in this world… It’s exactly that. Raise, teach, but most importantly model to young people what it is to love all and respect all. There is a saying in every locker room I have been in… Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better. “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”
While Brees’ intentions may not have been dastardly, it’s fair to wonder if his statement was a wise one considering the high probability that it would be seen as dismissive and insensitive to those who are rightfully angry and in pain.