Drew Brees Apologizes For Comments On Kneeling, Says He’s ‘Always Been An Ally’ Of The Black Community

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints reacts after fumbling the ball during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings
Chris Graythen / Getty Images

One day after making comments about protests against police brutality that brought condemnation from several of his teammates, Drew Brees issued an apology on Thursday morning. The New Orleans Saints quarterback took to his Instagram account to apologize to anyone he hurt with his comments.

“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. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy.”

Brees added that his words were misunderstood and that people started to think of him as some kind of enemy. He said being an enemy of the Black Lives Matter movement or the people that were marching in protests all over the country couldn’t be further from the truth.

Brees went on to say he stood with the black community and against systemic injustice and police brutality. The quarterback said he condemned the “years of oppression” that has taken place “throughout our black communities.”

Later on in the post, Brees said he understood he is someone who has the kind of platform where he can be a leader on issues like police brutality.

“I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability.”

On Wednesday, Brees was giving an interview with Yahoo Finance when he was asked about his stance on Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. The quarterback was asked whether he preferred players kneeling rather than the kind of protests going on around the country. The Saints star said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.”

After the interview went viral, current and former teammates well as other players from around the NFL began weighing in. Those who felt the need to call out Brees for his comments were former Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins and current Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. Former tight end Martellus Bennett took to social media late Wednesday night to not only call out Brees but “white quarterbacks” in general about the matter.

While there were many people who lined up against Brees, at least one former teammate came to his aid. Joe Horn, who played with Brees toward the end of the receiver’s career, said the quarterback has done quite a bit for the black community. He added people were throwing the quarterback under the bus, even though they didn’t know him.