Saints Quarterback Drew Brees Says He Will Stand for the National Anthem, but Supports Those Who Kne

By: Alina Dang

On August first, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said that he will stand for the national anthem because it honors all that have fought for the country. However, he also says that he respects and supports those who kneel.

Brees started the conference call talking about his introspection in early June, when he said that he would never approve of anyone disrespecting the flag by kneeling during the national anthem. After this, he quickly became seen by many as a symbol of white privilege. In TIME, Brett Martel wrote, “Those comments came while protests were proliferating across the country in response to a white Minneapolis police officer’s video-recorded killing of George Floyd. Brees faced a scathing backlash from several current and former Black teammates and other high-profile athletes such as LeBron James.” Brees apologized later and claims that he now realizes that protesting by kneeling during the anthem has nothing to do about the flag.

Drew Brees said, “I’ll always stand for the flag because of what it means to me and to honor all those who have sacrificed, who have served and died for our country, and all those who have struggled to move this country forward.”

Although he has stated that he will stand for the national anthem, he also said on Saturday, “I acknowledge and respect anyone who chooses to kneel or any other form of peaceful protest to bring attention to social injustice and systemic racism that so many have endured and continue to endure in our country.” Brees added that he “always will support and advocate for Black and brown communities in the fight for social justice.”

Brees said that he could have talked about the social injustice that still is in our country. He could have spread awareness for racial inequality the day that his reputation was brought down. The Quarterback said that he now knows that he missed a big opportunity and his “lack of awareness in that moment hurt a lot of people.”

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