Drew Brees has recently received backlash over some comments he made regarding kneeling during the National Anthem. In an interview with Daniel Roberts from Yahoo Finance, Roberts asked Brees what he thinks about players kneeling again when the NFL season starts.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”Drew Brees
A controversial comment nonetheless, Brees has gotten backlash from many athletes and even teammate, Michael Thomas. Thomas took to Twitter to apologize for Brees’s words as he said “He [Brees] don’t know no better” and “We don’t care if you don’t agree and whoever else how about that.”
Origins of the Kneeling Movement
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement of kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016. Kneeling before games has died off and not as many players do it due to the backlash they receive. Even though it’s faded from the NFL, protesters and even cops are resulting in taking a knee as a way of peaceful protest. It has become a symbol of justice towards racial inequality and police brutality.
Other athletes have also taken to social media to express their thoughts on Brees’s words. LeBron James tweeted “WOW MAN!!. Is it still surprising at this point? Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolutely nothing to do with the disrespect of and our soldiers(men and women) who keep our land free.”
Brees didn’t receive the memo from fellow athletes and teammates.
Even though Brees has disagreed with teammates and fellow athletes, NFL players have done exceptionally well helping out their communities. Many NFL players and staff participated in #blackouttuesday, a hashtag which were posts on Instagram to help promote the topic of racial inequality and how to help out.
Since Brees’s comments yesterday, he issued a statement on Instagram this morning.
The NFL may see more players kneeling next season, which brings up the conversation of whether they will allow it. League staff and players need to discuss kneeling during the National Anthem.
Players shouldn’t have to fight to use their freedom of speech. The league should allow players to kneel during the National Anthem to make a statement. Rather than threatening players by cuts and endorsement deals lost, the NFL should look upon it as a way to help the league. It is a terrifying time the world is in and the only way we can get through it is to fight for equality.