President Trump says Drew Brees will regret caving under 'PR Pressure' in national anthem protest apology
NEW ORLEANS- President Donald Trump says New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will regret apologizing for his national anthem protest comments.
Nearly two weeks after the quarterback tweeted a response to Trump's criticism surrounding personal opinions of national anthem protesting, the president commented on the matter.
In an interview with his son, Donald Trump Jr., on the Team Trump website, President Trump was asked, "What do you think of him (Brees) cowering to the mob and that whole controversy?"
"I was shocked because I consider him a great football player, I consider him a champion and a star and I didn’t understand what was going on, and he took it back and I’ve never seen anything like it and I think he hurt himself very badly," Trump said.
Brees has issued two public apologies since his interview with Yahoo! on June 3. In the interview, 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," Brees said in the interview.
The comment sparked immediate backlash on social media from his teammates, fans, and even the President of the United States.
President Trump tweeted about Brees' apology, saying he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring the American Flag.
I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
Brees responded to President Trump's tweet with a lengthy post, starting with, "To @realdonaldtrump."
To @realdonaldtrump— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) June 6, 2020
Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the… https://t.co/zcw1NMZF2W
"We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities," Brees said. "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." Brees continued, stating, "We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?"
During the interview with his son, President Trump said, "I was going to put out that he’ll (Brees) regret that in the future years because you stand for the flag. You have to stand for the flag and our anthem. The national anthem. You have to stand. I think the NFL’s gonna have a lot of problems if they don’t."
He continued, "A lot of warriors, they cave under PR pressure because his manager said, ‘Oh this isn’t right,’ and his teammates said ‘This isn’t right’ and all of a sudden he’s out there disclaiming about the flag and the country."
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