Drew Brees made major headlines on Wednesday when he decided to denounce protest of the National Anthem. He was quickly met with a large amount of backlash and drew responses from prominent figures outside of the NFL like LeBron James. The Raiders play the New Orleans Saints for the first-ever NFL game in Las Vegas. A number of players for the team have voiced frustration with Brees’ comment and cornerback Trayvon Mullen made a point to mark the date the two teams play.
The game will primetime during Monday Night Football. If Mullen wants to make a point, he’s going to have his hands full guarding Michael Thomas. It will be very interesting to see how teams play against Brees and the Saints this season.
Mullen Further Calls out Brees
Mullen wasn’t done calling out Brees with just the comment about marking the date of their matchup.
Even Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown weighed in.
Right now, tempers are very high and Brees’ comments elicited a lot of emotion. That said, the future Hall of Fame quarterback has already started to do damage control.
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Brees Issues Apology
The fact that Brees has become a topic of controversy is quite surprising. He’s one of the least controversial figures in all of sports and usually only makes good headlines. He’s 41 and in the twilight of his career. Understanding that his previous statement ruffled a lot of feathers, Brees issued a lengthy apology in an Instagram post:
I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.
In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.
This is where I stand:
I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.
I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.
I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.
I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.
I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.
I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.
I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.
For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.
Apologizing is only the first step Brees will probably have to take to regain the trust of his teammates. There’s never been any indication that he’s anything other than a strong leader for the team. Though he’s getting raked over the coals right now, what he does next will likely define the 2020 season for the Saints and him.