It has been a challenging offseason for Drew Brees and wife Brittany Brees after the Saints quarterback’s initial comments about protests conducted during the national anthem were met with backlash. This summer, Drew reiterated his stance against players kneeling during the national anthem but later issued several apologies for his comments. The couple has spent the offseason trying to do their part to help in the fight for racial equality.
Back in June, Brittany also issued a lengthy apology on the Brees Dream Foundation’s Instagram page. Brittany noted that she now understands how commenting on the flag has prohibited the couple from initially listening to those who choose to protest during the anthem.
“…Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing,” Brittany explained on Instagram. “Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM. To say ‘I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag ‘.. I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notion‘s of what that flag means to us. That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing.”
Drew told Yahoo! Finance in June that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.” The Saints quarterback has since gone back on his stance and even took on President Donald Trump with social media posts.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Drew explained. “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.”
The Couple Sponsored an HBCU Event Entitled ‘Black College Football: The Road to Equality’
The couple became the presenting sponsor of the HBCU event “Black College Football: The Road to Equality.” Drew explained the goal of the event was to “raise funds and awareness for HBCU football programs.”
“Our goal for this meaningful event is to engage in the national discussion on social justice by sharing the history of black college football and its impact on civil rights,” Drew said on Instagram. “It is also intended to be a platform to raise funds and awareness for HBCU football programs and the Black College Football Hall of Fame.”
Later in the offseason, Drew and Brittany pledged a $5 million donation through Ochsner Health to “build numerous healthcare centers throughout Louisiana in the communities that need it most.”
“We will continue to bridge the gap to bring healthcare, education, and economic equity to all of our communities,” Drew added. “We are proud to bring the first of these health care centers to New Orleans East later this year.”
Brittany on the Fight for Racial Equality: ‘We Will Do Better’
Brittany ended her note with an apology and a promise to “do better.” She went on to say that it is “our job to educate ourselves.”
“To all of our friends and anyone we hurt …we will do better.. We want to do better, we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem…is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough,” Brittany added. “It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry 🙏🏻.”
Backlash to Drew’s original comments about the flag came from across the sports world, including Michael Thomas and several other of his Saints teammates. Drew and Brittany have been married since 2003 and have four kids together. Brittany’s apology came several weeks after Drew issued his own comments on Instagram.
“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,” Drew noted. “They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy.”