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Remember when sports used to be a break from all of the political drama?
It was something we could all look forward to.
Then Colin Colin Kaepernick knelt.
Suddenly, sports became all politics all the time.
Men making millions of dollars a year to play sports, like Kaepernick, claimed our country is inherently racist and treats blacks horribly.
Many other players in the NFL joined him and supported his “cause.”
But not all.
Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, called kneeling during the national anthem “disrespectful” to the flag and something he couldn’t get behind.
Here’s the details from Fox News on Brees’ statement:
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees stayed true on his stance against players kneeling during the national anthem when the season starts.
Brees told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday he would never agree with the gesture.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States,” the 41-year-old quarterback told the outlet.
Brees likened standing for the national anthem as saluting the military.
“I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, 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,” he said.
“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.”
Brees reiterated his stance later to ESPN saying that he also respects his teammates and their fight for “racial equality and justice.”
“I believe we should all stand for the national anthem and respect our country and all those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms,” Brees told ESPN via text. “That includes all those who marched for women’s suffrage in the 1920s and all those who marched in the civil rights movements and continue to march for racial equality. All of us … EVERYONE … represent that flag. Same way I respect all the citizens of our country … no matter their race, color, religion.
“And I would ask anyone who has a problem with what I said to look at the way I live my life,” Brees added. “Do I come across as someone who is not doing my absolute best to make this world a better place, to bring justice and equality to others, and hope & opportunity to those who don’t have it? That’s what I meant by actions speak louder than words. … My ACTIONS speak for themselves.”
Watch Brees’ exchange with Yahoo Finance below:
Twitter erupted at Brees’ stating his beliefs, with many choosing to blast the quarterback:
Is what Brees’ said truly controversial?
He said he wants us ALL to stand for the national anthem because we are all Americans.
He even said that he supports his teammates’ fight for “racial justice and equality.”
Yet that’s not the line today’s media and liberals want Brees to tow.
Bravo to Brees for standing up for what he believes in, regardless of the blowback he receives.
ESPN has more details on the matter:
Brees gave a lengthy response to ESPN when asked about the perceived conflict between his stances -- including a potential divide in his locker room, where players like Malcolm Jenkins and Demario Davis are among the leaders of the players' coalition seeking social justice and racial equality.
"I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice," Brees said. "I also stand with my grandfathers who risked their lives for this country and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis."
The social media account belonging to brothers Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty of the New England Patriots called Brees' comments "a disgrace."
"To speak about your grandfathers as if there weren't black men fighting next to them. Those men later returned to a country that hated them," their tweet said. "Don't avoid the issue and try to make it about a flag or the military. Fight like your grandfathers for whats right!"
James responded on Twitter, saying kneeling during the national anthem has "nothing to do with the disrespect of [the United States flag] and our soldiers."
Brees' comments were not specifically addressed by teammates immediately on Wednesday, though wide receiver Michael Thomas replied with a sickened emoji to a reporter's tweet that read, "How can anyone watch George Floyd get murdered and their first response when asked about it is ResPEcC tHe fLAg."
Thomas also retweeted other comments directed at Brees' statements.
Brees was outspoken in 2016 when he said he supported Colin Kaepernick's desire to speak out against racial injustice but disagreed with Kaepernick's method of protest during the national anthem.
He has not wavered from that stance -- though he insisted Wednesday that his actions should represent what kind of a person he is.
"I believe we should all stand for the national anthem and respect our country and all those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms," Brees said via text message. "That includes all those who marched for women's suffrage in the 1920s and all those who marched in the civil rights movements and continue to march for racial equality. All of us ... EVERYONE ... represent that flag. Same way I respect all the citizens of our country ... no matter their race, color, religion.
"And I would ask anyone who has a problem with what I said to look at the way I live my life. Do I come across as someone who is not doing my absolute best to make this world a better place, to bring justice and equality to others, and hope & opportunity to those who don't have it? That's what I meant by actions speak louder than words. ... My ACTIONS speak for themselves."
Brees was referencing his social media post from Wednesday morning, which began with the header, "Words to unite," and talked about the importance of teaching and modeling to children "what it is to love all and respect all."
"There is a saying in every locker room I have been in," Brees wrote. "'Don't just talk about it, be about it.' Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better. 'Your actions speak so loudly I can't hear what you're saying.'"
Brees and his wife, Brittany, have been heavily involved in charitable efforts throughout his 19-year NFL career, including a recent donation of $5 million to help Louisiana during the coronavirus pandemic.