NEW ORLEANS — As America sits embroiled in protests and unrest after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, one of whom knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, Drew Brees came out publicly saying he could not agree with anyone who disrespects the American flag.
Brees was referencing the protest, led by Colin Kaepernick and followed by several others, that had players kneeling during the national anthem to protest brutality against minorities that often would go unpunished.
Saints players and other athletes across the country slammed Brees, including a Tweet from Marques Colston, Brees' former favorite target who said Brees was a part of the problem.
"My dad fought a war for this same country, for the same flag as your grandfather. He didn't have the luxury to dream about the ideals of America when he got "home." His reality was fighting to be treated like a human - in the very same country he risked his life for...
"If you can't open your mind and be humble enough to hear someone else's pain and experience, then you're a bigger part of the problem than you want to admit..."
Malcolm Jenkins, a former and now current teammate of Drew Brees had an expletive-laden video that he sent out on social media and took it down, then sending a more measured one, but still calling Brees "part of the problem."
Jenkins was crying as he spoke in his second video.
"It shows you don't know history, because when our grandfathers fought for this country and served and they came back, they didn't come back to a hero's welcome. They came back and got attacked for wearing their uniforms. They came back to racism and complete violence...
"The same brothers you break the huddle down with before every single game, the same brothers you bleed with and go into battle with every single day, go home to communities that have been decimated... unfortunately, you're somebody who doesn't understand his privilege. You don't understand the potential you have to actually be an advocate for people call brothers..."