Drew Brees appears to be back in the good graces of his teammates after a challenging week following his criticism of protests conducted during the national anthem. After President Donald Trump criticized Brees for backtracking, the Saints quarterback posted a strong message in response. Brees told Trump that “this is not an issue about the American flag” as part of a lengthy social media post directed at the president on both Instagram and Twitter.
“Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag,” Brees explained. “It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”
Saints receiver Michael Thomas is one of the people who publicly criticized Brees after his initial comments. Thomas quickly retweeted Brees’ message to Trump and responded with tweets of his own.
“MY QB 💪🏾…Super Bowl or Bust I might have to log off,” Thomas noted in a series of tweets along with retweets of Brees’ comments.
Saints’ Demario Davis Called Brees’ Comments a ‘Model That All of America Can Follow’
Thomas is not the only Saints player to back Brees after his lengthy post directed at Trump. Demario Davis called Brees’ comments “a model that all of America can follow” as he retweeted the message.
“A big part of leadership is admitting when you are wrong, and correcting your mistake,” Davis explained on Twitter. “A model that All of America can follow, admit the wrong done to the black community, fix the issues and WE ALL move forward together. Let’s all stand together now and find solutions.”
Thomas also backed Brees after his initial apology earlier in the week. The Saints receiver noted he accepted Brees’ apology and was going “back to the movement.”
“One of my brothers made a public statement yesterday that I disagreed with,” Thomas tweeted on June 4. “He apologized & I accept it because that’s what we are taught to do as Christians. Now back to the movement! #GeorgeFloyd”
Brees Initially Said He Would ‘Never Agree With Anybody Disrespecting the Flag’
During an interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees’ originally noted that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.” Brees appears to have changed his opinion based on his public comments to the president noting that the issue is not about the flag.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees told Yahoo. “Let me just tell 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 War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place.”
Brees’ comments to Trump mark the third time the quarterback has responded to his initial remarks. Brees originally apologized with a statement before later posting a video message on the same day.