On Wednesday, citing two grandfathers who fought in World War II, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said that even in wake of the death of African American George Floyd, an incident in which a former Minneapolis police officer is facing second-degree murder charges, he opposed any player kneeling during the pregame national anthem.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees told Yahoo Finance’s Daniel Roberts.
He was immediately ripped by teammates, opponents, other athletes, entertainers and even plenty of fans. By Thursday, Brees apologized.
“In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country,” Brees wrote in a statement released on social media. “They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy.”