In a recent interview, New Orlean Saints’ quarterback Drew Bees was asked by YahooFinance how he felt about players kneeling during the anthem as a way to protest police brutality against black people and community this NFL season.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said. He went on to explain his connection with the military through his grandparents.
Brees’ words sparked anger from NFL fans across the country including Atlanta Falcons fans.
Here’s What Fans Had Are Saying
Most fan posts seem to contrast Matt Ryan’s statement from earlier this week to Brees’ comments.
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Matt Ryan’s Statement
Matt Ryan took to Instagram and Twitter to share his voice.
My heart goes out to all of those who loved George Floyd, and all of those who have been impacted by similar tragedies,” Matt Ryan said. “I know that I cannot fully understand the depth and complexity of these issues because of the color of my skin, which is a sad testament to all of the work we have to do. I know I am only one man, but I also know I am committed to doing what I can. That commitment includes listening and learning with all humility and compassion. It is the least I can do. IT is the least WE all can do.
Arthur Blank’s Statement
Atlanta Falcons owner released a statement on Sunday after the Atlanta riots broke out calling for unity and peace.
A number of events over the last couple of weeks have reminded us again that the long, worthy quest for equal justice, civility and unity in America is far from over. People are scared and in pain. Their frustration is real, and it must be acknowledged and addressed. More must be done to address systemic racism. More must be done to address the underlying issues that have led to these incidents across the country. More must be done to bring people together through meaningful change.
The public discourse on these and other issues is too divisive, too political. These are not political issues, they are human issues that need serious, earnest attention from leaders and citizens alike who understand that diversity is our strength and fair treatment is everyone’s right. Open, honest dialogue is needed on a much greater scale. It is my hope that we take this terrible moment in our history to elevate that conversation toward productive action and lasting, positive change. Peaceful protests of the past have led to new ways forward. Lawlessness, vandalism and intentionally upending the peace with any form of violence has never been productive and is not the answer. We must not accept or condone violence in any way. And to be sure, Atlanta is better than what we saw in the actions of a few last night.
Together we will rise above this on the strength of what has always made Atlanta great – its people, its leaders of past and present and its unique culture that is welcoming to all. Our Family Foundation and the rest of our businesses here in Atlanta and elsewhere remain committed to being part of the solution.
In Brotherhood. Rise Up.