Saints QB Drew Brees, asked about players kneeling during anthem, says he will ‘never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag’
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Wednesday made it clear he doesn't like the idea of NFL players possibly taking a knee in protest during the national anthem this season.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees told Yahoo! Finance when asked about players potentially protesting during the anthem. "Is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go.
"But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”
Brees' comments come as millions across the country are protesting police brutality and racial injustice following George Floyd's death last week in Minneapolis. Floyd, a black man, died in police custody after an officer held his knee against Floyd's throat for several minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Teammate and Saints receiver Michael Thomas responded to Brees' comments Wednesday on Twitter, writing, "We don't care if you don't agree."
Highlight: @readdanwrite asks @drewbrees what the star NFL quarterback thinks about “players kneeling again when the NFL season starts.”@drewbrees: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Full exchange: pic.twitter.com/MpCkFyOMed
Brees, 41, said in an interview with ESPN later Wednesday, "I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice." Brees was among many professional athletes who participated in the #BlackOutTuesday campaign on social media to reflect on racism.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 started kneeling during the pregame national anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality. Many NFL players followed his lead that season.
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