When the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor protests first started around the country, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees caught quite a bit of flack as he stated that he disliked it when people knelt during the National Anthem. Brees explained that he thought it was disrespectful to the troops who have helped fight for the freedoms of Americans. Brees was immediately educated on how kneeling had nothing to do with the troops and that is was simply a form of peaceful protest.
Brees has since apologized for his remarks and has voiced his support for his teammates. In a new conference call via Kentucky New Era, Brees was asked about whether or not he plans to kneel this year. As Brees explained, he has chosen not to kneel simply because of what the country and troops mean to him. However, he encourages his teammates to do as they wish.
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“I’ll always stand for the flag because of what it means to me and to honor all those who have sacrificed, who have served and died for our country, and all those who have struggled to move this country forward,” Brees said. “I acknowledge and respect anyone who chooses to kneel or any other form of peaceful protest to bring attention to social injustice and system racism that so many have endured and continue to endure in our country. [I] always will support and advocate for Black and brown communities in the fight for social justice.”
Based on these comments, it’s clear that Brees has had quite a bit of growth since a couple of months ago. At the end of the day, he has every right to stand during the anthem, and it’s good to see him recognize his teammates have a right to do as they wish, as well.