Saints QB Drew Brees’ strong opinion on why he disagrees with kneeling during national anthem
While protests continue to take place throughout the world, there have been a number of notable quarterbacks to stand in solidarity by using their platform to denounce the death of George Floyd. Although the prospect of player protests making a return to the field and sidelines in the 2020 NFL season has become a very real one, it seems the idea still does not sit right with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees gave his opinion on why players should not protest during the national anthem, via Yahoo Finance:
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And 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 in the aftermath of Floyd dying while being detained by police in Minneapolis. This was exactly what Colin Kaepernick was protesting back in 2016 when he took a knee during the nation anthem, and he was ultimately blackballed from the league because of it.
It should be noted that Kaepernick came up with the idea of taking a knee during the anthem after consulting with a retired Army Green Beret, Nate Boyer, in an attempt to show respect for those who have died for the country while also raising awareness to the racial injustice plaguing America.
It is safe to say that Brees’ stance has not sat too well with his fellow Saints teammates who have used their platform to speak out after Floyd’s tragic death. The onus will fall on them to enlighten the veteran on what it means to be unified against prejudice.