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Tony Dungy defends Saints’ Drew Brees after controversial comments

Drew Brees has found himself an ally.

In an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Tony Dungy came to the defense of the embattled New Orleans Saints superstar due to the latter’s controversial remarks regarding athletes taking a knee whenever the National Anthem is played. The Hall of Fame coach asks for understanding when it comes to highly sensitive conversations.

“We all got to have [conversations]. We have Drew Brees saying what he said. I don’t downgrade Drew for that, okay? That’s what he said. He may not totally understand. It may have been not exactly the way he wanted to express it, but he can’t be afraid to say that.” 

“And we cannot be afraid to say, ‘okay, Drew. I don’t agree with you. But let’s sit down and talk about it. We can’t just say anytime [there is] something we don’t agree with, [and say], ‘hey, I’m done with that. I’m done with this person.’ It doesn’t make sense. We have to be better than that.”

Brees’ comments have drawn the ire of several high profile athletes including LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, and even Saints teammates Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins.

Protests have erupted across the country due to the death of George Floyd over a week ago. While advocating for change, Dungy stresses that violent demonstrations will never be the answer.

“This battle is not gonna be won by demonstrating and throwing bricks through windows. It’s not gonna be done by the government saying ‘hey, we’re gonna bring out these weapons and dominate the streets again. That is not gonna fix anything.”

Brees has since posted an apology on his Instagram regarding his controversial comments.