After a weekend phone call with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, one analyst is changing his stance on urging the veteran playcaller to retire. On Monday, retired NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe detailed their weekend conversation on his FS1 program “Undisputed.”
Speaking to co-host Skip Bayless, the three-time Lombardi winner said he felt “better” after conversing with Brees.
“I said Drew, for one second we didn’t want you to be Drew Brees, we wanted you to be one of us. What hurt the most is that it came from you. No white QB in the history of the NFL has had black support like you,” Sharpe explained. “I felt better after taking to Drew Brees. It took a lot of courage from him to reach out to me. I told Drew, ‘Time will tell, but I’m in your corner because I believe you can help us get to where we need to be.”
Sharpe Originally Called on Brees to Retire
Prior to their weekend chat and in a response to Brees’ original comments about respecting the flag when asked whether athletes should knee during the national anthem, Sharpe suggested Brees should retire, claiming his teammates “would never look at him the same.”
“Did he know black men fought alongside his grandfather in World War II? Although in segregated militaries?” Sharpe argued Thursday. “They were fighting in a foreign land for a freedom that when they came home, they did not enjoy like Drew Brees’ grandfathers did.”
Although Brees did apologize–twice–for his comments, Sharpe called the apology “meaningless.”
“He issued an apology, but it’s meaningless,” Sharpe continued. “The guys know he spoke his heart the very first time around. I don’t know what Drew is going to do, but he should probably go ahead and retire now. It will never be the same. Take it from a guy that has been a leader in the locker room for a number of years … they will never look at him the same, because he spoke his heart.”
WR Michael Thomas Praised Brees’ Apology
Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was one of the first to criticize Brees for his original comments. Since the 41-year-old has shifted his position, his teammate has now come out in support of the future Hall-of-Famer, especially after Brees denounced President Donald Trump’s criticism.
“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 said to Trump Saturday. “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?”
Thomas’ response was simple, yet nonetheless poignant.
“MY QB 💪🏾…Super Bowl or Bust I might have to log off,” Thomas tweeted Saturday.