New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is apologizing after comments he made about the ongoing protests to end racism in America. During an interview with Yahoo! Finance, Brees was asked about his fellow NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
Brees responded with: "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America." That comment drew swift condemnation from some of his teammates and other NFL players. Now, Brees is apologizing on social media, saying: "...it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused." Below is the full apology and reaction from other athletes and celebrities.
The Original Interview
Highlight: @readdanwrite asks @drewbrees what the star NFL quarterback thinks about "players kneeling again when th… https://t.co/Fz1hvqYppW— Yahoo Finance (@Yahoo Finance) 1591198888
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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.
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Reaction To The Original Interview
WOW MAN!! 🤦🏾♂️. Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was… https://t.co/7S1RKZOBYr— LeBron James (@LeBron James) 1591213679
Reaction From Drew's Teammate
I recorded a few videos when thinking of how to respond to Drew Brees, I don’t take any of it back-I meant what I s… https://t.co/u1xIWGh5r4— Malcolm Jenkins (@Malcolm Jenkins) 1591224884
Reaction From Around The NFL
He’s beyond lost. Guarantee you there were black men fighting along side your grandfather but this doesn’t seem to… https://t.co/zB06sdk165— Richard Sherman (@Richard Sherman) 1591212125
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A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game. It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action. #wakeupamerica #itstimeforchange #loveoverfear❤️ #solidarity #libertyandjusticeforall #all
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Reaction From Hollywood
This was a question we needed you to get right the first time. https://t.co/uqdug3zBAT— Jordan Peele (@Jordan Peele) 1591281608