Drew Brees Kneels on Taking a Stand: Systemic Racism is a Problem, and He's Sorry He 'Hurt a Lot of People'

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)


Pain — it means something different these days.

And quarterback Drew Brees is sorry for causing it.

On Saturday, the New Orleans Saints star spoke to reporters about his controversial June interview with Yahoo Finance.

In case you missed it, here’s what he had to say at the time:

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. 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. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”


For that, the QB got sacked.

You know it’s bad when even O.J. says you stepped in it:

Back to Saturday in the Bayou State, Drew assured media he’s down with social justice:

“Going back to my comment on June 3, to think for a second that New Orleans or the state of Louisiana or the black community would think that I was not standing with them for social justice, that completely broke my heart. It was crushing. Never, ever would I feel that way.”

He also confirmed there indeed exists racism in America’s systems:

“I recognize that I missed an opportunity that day. I had an opportunity to talk about and emphasize the social injustices that exist for our black community and our need as a country to support them and to advocate for systemic change.”

As reported by NOLA, the 41-year-old confirmed he’ll “always stand for the flag because of what it means to [him], 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.”


But don’t misunderstand — the athlete appreciates those who kneel in order to “bring attention to the social injustices and systemic racism that so many have endured and continue to endure in our country.”

And he’ll “always support and advocate for the black and brown communities in the fight for social injustices.”

Moreover, Drew “feels a great sense of responsibility to serve and to lead and to bring true equality to everyone.”

The Saint went on to champion unity, which he believes can be shown with one’s hand over their heart:

“Is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better, and that we are all part of the solution.”

Personally, I wish everyone would stop talking about “systemic racism.” What I mean is, it’s like talking about evil. “Down with evil!” What does that mean? How do you define evil? What kind of evil? Name a specific example of evil occurring, and we can fight it or fix it. Otherwise, we’re just speaking words which change nothing. Words are merely labels we give to things. Only actions — not “advocating” — can change the things of the world, and no action can be appropriately and wisely taken ’til we pinpoint exactly what is wrong. I wish people would get laser-specific, so we could go from there, together.


For now, Drew Brees knows one thing that’s wrong — him. Or, at least in his view, he was. Over one month ago.

“[M]y lack of awareness in that moment hurt a lot of people.”



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