Today, Drew Brees reiterated an unpopular stance, saying he will “never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag of the USA” during an interview with Yahoo Finance. This is Brees’ first public statement since the murder of George Floyd.
ESPN asked the Saints’ quarterback about his comments and the potential rift that they may have created within the Saints organization, where players like Demario Davis and Malcolm Jenkins advocate for justice and racial equality.
“I love and respect my teammates and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice,” Brees said. “I also stand with my grandfathers who risked their lives for this country and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”
Brees supported Collin Kapernick in 2016, but disagreed with his decision to kneel during the national anthem. He doubled down on that position in his comments today.
“I believe we should all stand for the national anthem and respect our country and all those who sacrificed so much for our freedom,” Brees said. “That includes all those who marched for women’s suffrage in the 1920s and all those who marched in the civil rights movements and continue to march for racial equality. All of us–everyone–represent that flag, the same way I respect all the citizens of our country, no matter their race, color, or religion.”
Brees continued, saying, “And I would ask anyone who has a problem with what I said to look at the way I live my life. Do I come across as someone who is not doing my absolute best to make this world a better place, to bring justice and equality to others, and hope and opportunity to those who don’t have it? That’s what I meant by actions speak louder than words. My actions speak for themselves.”
Brees was referencing his social media post from Wednesday morning, which began with the header “Words to unite” and talked about the importance of teaching and modeling to children “what it is to love all and respect all.”
“There is a saying in every locker room I have been in,” Brees said. “‘Don’t just talk about it, be about it.’ Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better. Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
Michael Thomas retweeted the following:
Eight days late, but finally all four to be charged for the murder of George Floyd! We now need to unite as a country under the core belief that everyone MUST be treated fairly and equally and the color of your skin can’t determine if you live or die – our future depends on it!!
— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) June 3, 2020
Thomas also retweeted other responses to Brees’ statements.