In the time since, Kaepernick filed a grievance that was settled by the NFL and was supported by hundreds of professional athletes across the world. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is not one of them.
In the quarterback’s first comments since the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd in police custody, his stance on kneeling during the national anthem remains the same that it was in 2017.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said. “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 two, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. 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.”
From the perspective of famously outspoken 49ers corner Richard Sherman, Brees is “beyond lost” in terms of the issue.
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Other 49ers’ Show Disappointment through Retweets
49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead brought up the example of how former Seattle Seahawk and Green Beret Nate Boyer recommended kneeling as a way of peaceful protest to Kaepernick.
Boyer voiced his appreciation for Armstead shouting him out.
Shortly after Brees’ comments, San Francisco safety Jason Verrett tweeted out that those who have trouble understanding should maybe go watch classic movies that try to speak on the issue.
Fellow safety D.J. Reed also didn’t directly address the comments of Brees’, but did pose a question of what the world could be like.
Meanwhile, linebacker Kwon Alexander retweeted Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu’s words shortly after Brees’ quote went viral.
49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas joined Alexander, as the 24-year-old retweeted what Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and retired receiver Doug Baldwin had to say.
49ers safety Tarvarius Moore retweeted Chiefs corner Charvarius Ward, as well as a clip of boxer Deontay Wilder talking about the issue.
Sherman’s Recent Comments Before Response
On May 31, Sherman took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on Floyd’s death and ensuing protests that have been taking place across the country.
The 49ers corner is coming off his most productive season since heading to Santa Clara, California, notching 11 passes defended and three interceptions in the regular season as San Francisco totaled a 13-3 record and a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Sherman was selected to second-team All-Pro as well as the Pro Bowl.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.