Drew Brees lit a fire Wednesday with his comments about NFL player protests.
Fellow athletes are coming back hard at the New Orleans Saints quarterback with LeBron James leading the way.
What caused the uproar
Brees told Yahoo Finance that he doesn’t want to see players kneeling during the national anthem when football resumes.
Highlight: @readdanwrite asks @drewbrees what the star NFL quarterback thinks about "players kneeling again when the NFL season starts."@drewbrees: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 3, 2020
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said in an interview with Daniel Roberts. “Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States.”
Brees then went on to talk about his grandfathers fighting in wars.
The nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd have shone a new light on Colin Kaepernick’s social justice protests. Some of Kaepernick’s many vocal critics who shifted the narrative from police brutality to a message on the military are now understanding the true meaning behind his message when he took a knee.
James and and others are wondering why Brees didn’t get the memo.
LeBron James: ‘WOW MAN’
men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitement. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong! God bless you. 🙏🏾✊🏾👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 3, 2020
Meanwhile former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who was a friend of Floyd’s, applauded Brees’ teammates for calling him out.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 3, 2020
NFL players, others rip Brees
Meanwhile, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman led a vocal contingent of current and former NFL players.
He’s beyond lost. Guarantee you there were black men fighting along side your grandfather but this doesn’t seem to be about that. That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem https://t.co/ON81UsOWPw pic.twitter.com/HH3EVTIH8p
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) June 3, 2020
The real issue is that some don’t have the heart to understand or submit.
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) June 3, 2020
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) June 3, 2020
If you're still talking about players "disrespecting the flag" by kneeling during the national anthem clearly you're not ready for these conversations. Call a time out and come back later.
— Julius Peppers (@juliuspeppers_) June 3, 2020
How can you be in the locker rooms, speaking to the players, know the reasoning, and yet still be dumb enough to believe it’s about the flag. Like HOW???? He should know better than that. He just doesn’t care. Damn man not Drew...
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) June 3, 2020
Always knew who he was! Every time y’all came at me and said I couldn’t come home because I didn’t think he was Jesus. Oh well! Keep cheering
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) June 3, 2020
— Jamal Adams (@Prez) June 3, 2020
This is a disgrace! To speak about your grandfathers as if there weren’t black men fighting next to them.Those men later returned to a country that hated them. Don’t avoid the issue and try to make it about a flag or the military. Fight like your grandfathers for whats right! https://t.co/qag3Igic3V
— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) June 3, 2020
.@drewbrees the reason my children have to live in a world that won’t empathize with their pain is because people like you are raising your children to perpetuate the cycle. Drew, you are the problem.
— Douglas Baldwin Jr 🧢 (@DougBaldwinJr) June 3, 2020
What Is this guy even talking about? the problem isn’t our military, flag or kneeling... it’s police brutality and social injustice in our country... see ya 9/27/20 boy https://t.co/yfDVO7kNEO
— Will “Blazing” Redmond (@BlazingWill_) June 3, 2020
Drew Brees was once my teammate. Had a long intellectual talk with him in the cold tub once. Drew..... you’re a smart man. This ain’t ignorance. This is picking a side and not caring enough to fight for justice because you’re comfortable within your own bubble. Silence is murder!
— Lamar Louis (@_ball_is_life23) June 3, 2020
Can’t lie. I knew where that fool stood, and he still got me hot. I appreciate the transparency tho. I really do.
— FOST (@GeorgeFoster72) June 3, 2020
Wow. lol just landed in Pittsburgh and that ain’t what u want to see from a leader in our sport man.
— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) June 3, 2020
How many times will they show you Lmao why y’all acting surprised. Drew Brees from Texas @drewbrees .... YEEEEEHAAAA!!! Smmfh
— Khiry Robinson (@_numberthreeRB) June 3, 2020
For a man that doesn’t make many mistakes, this is a big one. So disappointing !
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) June 3, 2020
Drew brees come on now
— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) June 3, 2020
Malcolm Jenkins: Shut the f--- up’
New teammate Malcolm Jenkins posted a fiery video on Brees, telling him to “shut the f--- up.”
Current #Saints Safety @MalcolmJenkins is also speaking up against tone-deaf @drewbrees
"We're done asking Drew!"
"I considered you a friend, I looked up to you, you're someone I had a great deal of respect for, but sometimes you should shut the f*ck up." pic.twitter.com/KPHinGuQR7
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 3, 2020
The Saints safety deleted that post before publishing a separate emotional video where he calls Brees “a part of the problem.”
Saints teammates weigh in too
Brees’ veteran Saints teammates didn’t hold back either. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara were among Brees’ critics on Twitter.
He don’t know no better.
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 3, 2020
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) June 3, 2020
As was New Orleans native and actor Wendell Pierce, best known for portraying a cop on “The Wire.”
To @DrewBrees :My 95yr old father fought in WWII at Saipan risking his life for the United States of America, a country that had little respect for himWhen he returned to New Orleans he was denied his right to vote, his right to live where he wanted & most of his civil rights...
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) June 3, 2020
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