Las Vegas Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs called out New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees following Brees’ controversial comments about players taking a knee during the national anthem in protest against police brutality.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said, per Yahoo! Sports. He continued:
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.
So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.
Many don’t agree with Brees’ perception of the protests, including Jacobs:
“…. This ain’t it,” he wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a facepalm emoji.
As many across the country protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody, multiple NFL teams and players have made their feelings on the situation clear. Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s name is also back in the news for his national anthem protests in 2016, which were meant to bring attention to police brutality.
Not everyone agreed with his methods then and not everyone agrees with them now, including Brees.
Michael Thomas Addresses His Teammate’s Comments
Similar to Jacobs, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is among the more opinionated players in the NFL. Brees is his quarterback, so he’s not going to call him out on social media, but he did address the comments. “He don’t know no better,” Thomas tweeted.
This is bound to become a hot-button issue when the season starts.
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Mark Davis Is Among Only Owners to Mention the Police in a Statement
Since the death of Floyd, all 32 NFL teams and owners have issued statements on the matter. However, only three teams have specifically mentioned the word “police” in their statements, per Bo Wulf of The Athletic. Raiders owner Mark Davis was among them. He wrote:
To watch a man be murdered by a uniformed police officer kneeling on the man’s throat for 9 minutes while 3 uniformed police officers either assisted or stood by watching is disturbing in too many ways. To be honest I’m surprised that the resulting violence hasn’t been much worse. Emotions are high, the temperature is hot, and there’s static in the air. But Burning your brother’s house down is ultimately not the answer. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with solutions. That’s the challenge in front of us. Not only as Americans, but as human beings.
Davis also says he’s working with the city of Las Vegas to try and find solutions to the problem.