'I will do better': Drew Brees posts new apology video following comments on national anthem protests
NEW ORLEANS- Drew Brees issued a second public apology Thursday evening following backlash on social media about his comments criticizing national anthem protests.
During an interview with Yahoo! the Saints quarterback was asked about the controversial sign of protest returning in the upcoming football season in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said on Wednesday. "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 Corps, both risking their lives to protect our country."
The comment sparked immediate backlash on social media, including scrutiny from fellow professional athletes, including his own teammates.
Thursday morning, Brees released a statement, calling his words "insensitive."
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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.
Some of Brees' teammates, including Demario Davis and Michael Thomas, publicly accepted his apology.
One of my brothers made a public statement yesterday that I disagreed with. He apologized & I accept it because that’s what we are taught to do as Christians. Now back to the movement! #GeorgeFloyd— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 4, 2020
I could’ve easily got on social media and attacked @drewbrees yesterday. His comments were extremely insensitive, dismissive, and flat out disappointing. Knowing him personally and his character I decided not to do so, and addressed things internally....— Terron Armstead (@T_Armstead72) June 4, 2020
Thursday evening, Brees posted another apology to social media. This time, he included a video and caption that read, "I am your ally."
"I just want you to see my eyes, how sorry I am, for the comments that I made yesterday. I know that it hurt many people."
Brees says that he wishes he would have laid out what was on his heart about social injustice, police brutality, and the need for reform and change to bring equality to black communities.
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