After President Donald Trump said that Drew Brees shouldn’t have apologized for his national anthem comments earlier this week, Brees has posted a response on Instagram:
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To @realdonaldtrump Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.
This has been a truly wild journey in the week of Brees. Here’s a timeline:
Wednesday: Brees says, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.” Teammates, including Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Malcolm Jenkins, publicly disavow him for it. Brief F Drew Brees chants break out in New Orleans at night, which you couldn’t have gotten 1,000,000-1 odds if you had wanted to bet that on that morning when you woke up.
Thursday: Brees apologizes. His teammates were in public support of him at that point, but he was still raked over the coals on TV and Twitter.
Friday: Trump tweets: “I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high…We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!” Brees responds.
Now everyone who repudiated Brees will laud him, and everyone who lauded him will repudiate him. This has truly been a wild rollercoaster.