President Donald Trump’s comments on Friday night and throughout the weekend about the NFL needing to fire players who do not stand for the national anthem drew strong responses from inside and outside the football world.
Most of those responses fell either in opposition to or support of the President, but Saints quarterback Drew Brees found some slightly different ground. When Brees met with the media after Sunday’s 34-13 victory over the Panthers, Brees was critical of the President as well as of players, including his teammates, who didn’t stand.
“I disagree with what the President said and how he said it,” Brees said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I think it’s very unbecoming of the office of the President of the United States to talk like that, to the great people like that, and, obviously, he’s disappointing a lot of people.”
“Let me say this first – do I think that there’s inequality in this country? Yes, I do. Do I think that there’s racism? Yes, I do. I think there’s inequality for women in the workplace; I think there’s inequality for people of color, for minorities, for immigrants.”
“If the protest becomes we’re going to sit down or kneel or not show respect to the flag of the United States of America and everything it symbolizes and everything it stands for, everything our country has stood for to get to this point, I do not agree with that. I feel like that is a unifying thing.”
Brees said he didn’t know that 10 Saints players planned to remain seated because he was “locked in” before the game, but said he’s had “candid conversations” with teammates about these issues in the past and that he thinks the team will be fine after talking about it again in the wake of Sunday’s game.
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