Brittany Brees wants her followers to know that she’s still learning. In a post to the Brees Dream Foundation Instagram page, the wife of New Orleans Saint quarterback Drew Brees issued a lengthy apology in which she explained how much work she and her husband still have to do to understand racism in America.
The post comes after comments Drew made last week suggesting that, in spite of the racial unrest across the country, he was still opposed to kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest. The comments sparked a severe backlash, and Drew has since issued an apology on Instagram, promising to do more to educate himself on issues of race in America.
Now, his wife has weighed in offering a very similar sentiment.
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WE ARE THE PROBLEM . I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts. I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times and every time I read it and the words sink into my heart. I think yes this is what it’s all about…Only until the last few days ,until we experienced the death threats we experienced the hate… Did I realize that these words were speaking directly to us.. how could anyone who knows us or has had interactions with us think that Drew or I have a racist bone in our body? But that’s the whole point . Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one an another as God loves us. We can feel good about educating our children about the horrors of slavery and history. We can read books to our children about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X., Hank Aaron, Barack Obama, Rosa parks, Harriet Tubman.. and feel like we are doing our part to raise our children to love , be unbiased and with no prejudice. To teach them about all of the African Americans that have fought for and risked their lives against racial injustice. Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing. Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM. To say “I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag “.. I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notion‘s of what that flag means to us. That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives .. stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt …we will do better.. We want to do better , we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem…is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry ???????? -Brittany Brees
“WE ARE THE PROBLEM,” she wrote at the start of the post.
The post featured three quotes highlighting the dangers of remaining silent. Brittany said that she was writing the post with tears in her eyes, explaining that she didn’t fully understand what those quotes meant until she started receiving the death threats and hatred following her husband’s comments.
She said that, initially, she didn’t understand how anyone could think that either of them was racist, and then realized that that was the whole point. She described thinking that raising kids to be unbiased and unprejudiced was enough, that it “checks the box” that proves that you are not racist. Now, though, Brittany realizes that she can do more to help.
Brittany continued, explaining that now she sees that describing kneeling during the national anthem as “disrespecting the flag” really meant that she and her husband weren’t taking the time to understand why those who kneeled said did so. She said that white America doesn’t do enough to look for racial injustice, but that both she and Drew are determined to be better now.
Drew’s wife continued, saying that she wants to hear from people who have experienced racism because she now realizes that not being part of the problem is not enough.
The quarterback’s comments were similar and were also a direct apology to those in the NFL who he may have hurt by what he said initially.
“In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. 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,” Drew explained.