Drew Brees on Kap’s protests: ‘I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag’

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Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. He’s also an absolute moron, which I only just learned because I barely follow the NFL. Around the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests, there’s been a lot of conversation about how Colin Kaepernick was run out of the NFL simply because he was peacefully protesting police brutality and the murders of black people at the hands of the police. Kap’s protest was simply to kneel during the National Anthem and people lost their friggin’ minds about it. Magically, those same people are looking at the protesters in the current newscycle and screaming that *those* protesters should be more peaceful. But the anthem! But the troops! Anyway, as it turns out, Drew Brees still doesn’t think Kap’s protest was good or right or important. This is what he said:

The quote Yahoo used in that tweet is a big one, but if you watch the video, Brees actually makes the argument that when he hears the National Anthem, he thinks “about all that has been sacrificed, not just by those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the Civil Rights movement in the ‘60s…” Yes, white people love to sanitize and revise the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s. They want to believe that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was simply a beloved, sanitized figure who would never, ever do anything radical like protest police brutality or white supremacy, right? The fact that Brees is trying to say his bullsh-t has anything to do with the respect he has for civil rights… well, f–k this bro.

Professional athletes were calling out Brees right and left. I loved what LeBron James had to say:

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers also had some things to say:

Update: Here’s Brees’ apology. I remain unmoved.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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71 Responses to “Drew Brees on Kap’s protests: ‘I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag’”

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  1. Feedmechips says:

    I wonder if Drew Brees has ever felt compelled to speak out about the NFL’s rampant domestic violence problem? Or is this where he draws he line?

    • lisa says:

      I would never expect this guy to have any brains at all. His whole upbringing / training was about mastering a sport, NOT getting a well-rounded education. Same w/Tom Brady…. all these jocks are dummies, so why would anyone expect more.

    • AnnaKist says:

      Ugh. You have that problem with your footballers, too? It’s okay for him. His precious flag gives him a level of dignity and protection some others0 have never had the pleasure of enjoying. He’s another one who needs to just shut the feck up.

  2. Noki says:

    He has already issued the mandatory apology.

    • Livvers says:

      And all he does is try to redirect the attention back to his strawman “it’s about the military” BS.

      • maisie says:

        This joker knows very well that this is not about the flag or the military – Kapernick was kneeling to protest racial injustice in the US, the same as protesters are doing now in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The NFL & right-wingers demonised Kapaernick by pretending his gesture was actually about the military and the flag. They’re great at twisting actual intent by falsely turning it into something against God & country.

        As someone once said, when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross (or an upside-down bible while lawful protesters are being gassed by storm troopers several hundred feet away).

      • Livvers says:

        @maisie I didn’t know at the time I posted but apparently there is a second apology from this morning, what I was thinking of was Brees’ attempted “clarification” yesterday. But he still thinks his starting point was a discussion of “respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem…” Which is further evidence of how he thought he could just redirect the conversation and make it what he wanted, rather than discuss the actual issues.

        And personally, I do not believe in elevating symbols above people and our obligations to our neighbours, so even if that was what the ‘conversation’ actually was, I would still reject it. There is no solidarity to be had in a symbol if that symbol’s supposed meaning isn’t extended to everyone equally.

      • Jess says:

        He is trash. Shannon Sharpe went off in his pro-military logic today and it was awesome.

      • Carol says:

        Look, many people are on the wrong side of this movement because they simply don’t understand or don’t get that black people live under different/unfair rules – whether they purposely block that view or not. Im not talking about racists. Im talking about white folks ignorant of systemic racism. But if this movement can “enlighten” some folks, ie Brees, I’m gonna think thats a good thing. Does he need to continue his “education,” start listening to people who are different than he is and have different experiences. You bet. But its a step in the right direction.

      • E.B. Mann says:

        Let him suffocate with a knee on his neck for 9 minutes & then we can have a discussion about his pampered, ignorant, white-privilege “respect.”

      • LaraW" says:

        The thing is, these people do not learn. They just hide. They don’t have what it takes ask questions and sincerely listen to the answers. During the Obama years, they had suddenly found their reputation, livelihoods, friendships were at stake because of the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, intolerant bullshit they said and did and got away with. They were punished for what had been “normal” all their lives and weren’t willing to invest the time to find out why those things aren’t okay. The only thing they took away from it was an ugly, deep seated resentment.

        These pieces of shit were always here, will always be here, will continue their cycle of hypocrisy and move according to the time and tide of the general public. These people are cowards, and I bet you right now, this motherfucker doesn’t feel sorry at all. He’s probably with his other white buddies drinking shitty beer and saying the shit he truly believes, with some extra resentment to top it off.

      • Livvers says:

        @LaraW” Yes, they don’t learn because they don’t WANT to. Carol says, “Does he need to continue his “education,” start listening to people who are different than he is and have different experiences. You bet.”

        CONTINUE his education? START listening? That man has been living in _New Orleans_ since 2006. He’s had 14 years! His teammates said they have been trying to educate him and he brushes it off. When was he going to get around to it??

    • sa says:

      “And personally, I do not believe in elevating symbols above people and our obligations to our neighbours, so even if that was what the ‘conversation’ actually was, I would still reject it. There is no solidarity to be had in a symbol if that symbol’s supposed meaning isn’t extended to everyone equally.”

      @Livvers, thank you!

      I know it’s never been about the flag, but even if it was, I’ve never understood the notion that a symbol of America should be elevated above the people or place it is supposed to represent. The symbol means nothing if its principles and people are under attack. (also, isn’t freedom, including freedom to protest, what our military has always fought for and what the flag stands for? So it’s pretty hypocritical to invoke them to criticize or try to quell protest).

  3. Chica1971 says:

    He’s a dumb one! It was not about the military and even if the protest was, his logic and ignorance is apparent. Blacks fought and died in the military and wars and DID NOT come home to a heroes welcome. Proof that being black-adjacent via work does not translate into genuine interest and knowledge about their lives.

    • Mellie says:

      Please say that louder for the people in the back….Jesus Christ….two years later and people still cannot value humans over symbols/things. We are a lovely society aren’t we?

      • Defaultgirl says:

        My dad served over 20 years in the military. He would take a knee for these killings in a heart beat. Him and all his military buddies. They can stop with the flag bs.

  4. MrsRobinson says:

    When does “patriotism” become dangerous? When the symbol is more important than what it symbolizes. Do we have to give this guy the benefit of the doubt by assuming he’s stupid? Maybe he’s just the same old racist, wrapping himself in the flag that we see in the White House. Or maybe both.

    • ATLMathMom says:

      Unfortunately, but not too surprisingly, probably a little more of the latter than the former.

    • sarah says:

      “When does “patriotism” become dangerous? When the symbol is more important than what it symbolizes.”


    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

      One of the most precious freedoms in America is the freedom of speech. THAT is what our soldiers fought and died for, not some polyester, made in China, piece of cloth. If the troops believe they are fighting for a piece of cloth and NOT the First Amendment, then that means our whole military is effed up.

  5. Chickaletta says:

    The flag is a piece of fabric. The anthem is a song. Their meaning, while powerful and worthy of respect, is ultimately symbolic. A symbol is not more important than an innocent life.

    A symbol is not more important than that body that doesn’t need to be in the street.

    A symbol is not more important than the death of someone who was the “wrong” color.

    The founders of our country,who I only bring up because that’s who Brees is caping for here, did not rise up so that people could preach about some pretty stars having more value than someone’s life. They were pretty big on the right to exist and even, you know, protest their government.

    But, (sips tea), what do I know?

    • Fig says:

      Yesss all day!

    • Lightpurple says:

      Came to say the same thing. My uncle did not die for a flag or a song.
      Brees had to walk it back not so much because of the public backlash, those who attacked Kaepernick were defending Brees, but because his own teammates went very public ripping him to shreds. He is going to have to work with them if the NFL ever resumes so this apology was performative to calm down the team’s owners.

    • josephine says:

      I think that if the flag symbolizes anything, it’s that justice and freedom require free speech, require that we stand up and speak out even when it’s hard to do so, even when it requires sacrifice. Those who signed the Declaration of Independence did so as traitors, punishable by death. How easily that’s forgotten by the right-wingers. Protest for change and equality, for our human rights is patriotic. Dree Brees — not so much.

    • Ali says:

      @CHICKALETTA great post

    • Mel says:

      THIS!! forever this, thank you!!! you put this so perfectly into words! If you don’t mind I can I borrow them?

    • T says:

      Everything you just said…YES!

  6. Scal says:

    Ugh. Brees is trying to have his cake and eat it to. Trying to please both sets of fans. Oh please great savior tell us the right way to protest? /sarcasm

    Kap started by SITTING during the national anthem in protest. After being told by a marine that was disrespectful-the marine suggested taking a knee as that’s what solders do in the field when listening. No one was protesting the military or disrespecting the flag. That narrative is garbage.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    F#cking idiot. Taking a knee is actually showing respect. On many levels.

  8. TarHeel Pixie says:

    Welp…Brees sounds about white…🤨

    • Nia says:

      Using «white» like a catchall for «bad» is kinda…

      • Natasha says:

        It’s a play on “sounds about right”…?

      • whatWHAT? says:

        That’s not what TarHeel Pixie did.

        the “sounds about white” is a play on “sounds about right”.

        meaning, it’s typical for a white man with privilege to dismiss and/or misinterpret the struggle or protests of a black person.

  9. S808 says:

    They fought for our freedom and right to protest, did they not? Disrespectful how?

  10. Nia says:

    Its a THING. The flag is just your handy excuse. Patriotism is nothing if you put things above people.

  11. Livvers says:

    I admire the bravery of his teammates to respond to Brees, who probably all have very reasonable fears that it will impact their careers to speak up. I was especially moved by Malcolm Jenkins’ response, which extended so much more grace to Brees than he could possibly deserve. The violation of trust that Brees has made – especially when, as we can gather from Jenkins’ video, his teammates have been trying to HAVE this conversation with Brees, but he has been brushing it aside – is gross.

    • Lightpurple says:

      His teammates were very vocal, very fast, and that’s why he issued an apology, not because of the public backlash or anything LeBron James had to say. He is going to have to work with them and they made it very clear they weren’t having any of this. It had to make the team owners nervous. And yes, Malcolm Jenkins’s response was far more gracious than Brees deserved.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I wish the responses had been included in this article, but I sought out them out.
      I’m a lifelong Eagles fan, and Malcolm Jenkins was here for many years, very sad he’s not anymore. He is SUCH a good guy and does so much for the community. New Orleans is lucky to have him. I’m sorry he now has to deal with this with Brees.

      I don’t know if Brees is an idiot or not, but he sure is a coward, and either willfully ignorant or just afraid of his racist fans.

  12. Darla says:

    How about NO talking, dumbass.

  13. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I’ve read many different accounts as to why the US flag is so important, but still don’t really understand: could my fellow CBers enlighten me on this? As a Brit, I don’t find the flag something to have reverence for, or to worship, or salute. What is its meaning? Is it tokenistic? What does it represent, at a visceral level?

    • Rachel MST says:

      Honestly, I’m American and don’t understand the obsession with the flag.

    • Erin says:

      Nothing too complicated, its just what happens when you let fascism and nationalism fester in a country. Its unfortunately been decades since we’ve had a government that took steps to tamp down either.

    • Emmitt says:

      The American flag/anthem means many different things to different people and to a lot of people America/American flag/Police/Military/National Anthem=white.

      So when black people protest the anthem, flag, Confederate statue, the police, etc. they feel black Americans are anti-American and anti-white.

      In fact, many white Americans believe when black Americans protest racism, the black Americans are anti-American and anti-white.

      I say this in particular to the NFL because there have been white NFL players who kneeled during the anthem in solidarity with their black teammates but they never ever received the vitriol the black players get. I also think the soccer player Megan Rapinoe kneeled and she never got the vitriol the black NFL players got.

    • LaraW" says:

      American exceptionalism + current global superpower.

      You see the same kind of devotion to the flag in China. Also in the former Soviet Union.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Republicans use the flag and the bible as props and tools, similar to the way a child molester uses a candy bar. I hope that clears things up for our foreign friends.

  14. OriginalLala says:

    When a flag means more to some people than actual human lives…… The level of ignorance is astounding.

  15. Frida_K says:

    Drew Brees: ““I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

    Yours truly: Ok, güero.

    • josephine says:

      In my opinion Drew Brees shows a deep disrepect for our country by willfully misunderstanding the protest. It is a protest for equality and for human rights, and he very willfully and publically is pretending that it’s a protest against a flag or against the military. It’s never been that, and I have to think that he has the minimal intelligence to know that.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, I cannot believe he is too stupid to understand something that even a four-year-old can grasp. “Willfully misunderstanding” is a good way to put it.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        willfully misunderstanding is a perfect description. it’s been explained, ad nauseum, WHY he kneels, and WHAT he is protesting, but these white supremacist types need the backstory to fit their narrative of him being an “uppity N-word” and something to justify their rage against “libs” so they grab onto something disingenuous to try to shame people who support Kap’s protest – “don’t you respect the flag?!!!” I mean, I’ve seen it first hand…a (now ex-) friend would post a comment about him disrespecting the flag, and I’d correct them and explain, and the next day there’d be a comment from the same person on another thread AGAIN claiming “he’s disrespecting the flag/troops/’murica!”

      • Frida_K says:

        Which is why I say “Sure, white man.”

        Of course he is being obnoxious and obdurately naive. It’s easy to do so when one is a güero.

  16. Mel says:

    This makes me so angry I can’t keep my thoughts straight. Not to waste too much time on this idiot that deserves to loose his position for stating such a thing but had he done his research, he would have found that most the people he is using as an excuse for such a ridiculous statement were not offended by what Kaepernick was doing, I’m not a football fan at all, but when this first hit the news a few years back I remember a beautiful essay written by two white vets who said they fought to give this man the freedom and chance to kneel, and what the did to Kaepernick and all the BS he went through for taking a rightful stand (or knee lol) for years after that was insane and now we’ve come to this! And ughh, I just want to scream, because even with what is happening now people still stand by those statements, people still don’t get it, and just because I’m a suspicious kind of person I do wonder how many now are just pretending to show support just because is “trending” people need to mean it in order for things to change and I really hope Kaepernick is fully and widely vindicated for this, because that man lost so much for doing something that was so right! Everyone that Spoke against him then needs to be shamed. Sorry, rant over.

    • AMA1977 says:

      I worked with a woman who was the Kareniest Karen who ever Karened and when Colin Kaepernick started kneeling, she took EXTREME pleasure in telling anyone and everyone that she was APPALLED by his DISRESPECT for the TROOPS!!!! She didn’t want to listen to the actual reason for his stance, or that a military vet had advised him on how to show respect while making a stand, or to even consider anything other than what Cheetolini and Faux News were spouting. One of the great pleasures of my life was when she was denigrating someone for being an Obama voter and I got to tell her I was one, too. She actually gasped. I think before that day, she thought I was one of them. I’m sure she wondered where I hid my horns and felt sorry for my children, being raised by an amoral heathen. Oh, and she was VERY involved in her church and considered herself “a good Christian.” It’s mindblowing. If you take NOTHING ELSE from Jesus’ teachings, take “love thy neighbor as thyself.” I think she’s in for a surprise about how hot it’s going to be for her in eternity…

  17. vertes says:

    Kapernick was never disrespectful to the flag, the anthem or the US. Kneeling is actually a sign of respect. Some people kneel when they pray. Recipients of knighthoods kneel before their sovereigns.
    I wish some football manager or owner had the cojones to hire Kapernick.
    Brees is a jerk.

  18. HK9 says:

    He doesn’t understand the concepts. He is an idiot.

  19. AppleTartin says:

    I am so tired of people changing the narrative on intent so they can look like a hero and still dog whistle racism to their base. Then they feign ignorance when called out for it. They know exactly what they are doing.

    And still Colin is unemployed and black listed for stepping up.

  20. Sayrah says:

    This was so disappointing to see yesterday. I wish I could believe his apology but I don’t. He could have said “I understand why some kneel” how hard would that have been? Dang

  21. manda says:

    This makes me so angry. The flag is a symbol and it means nothing if you’re saying that you respect a symbol more than the lives of actual people. Wendell Pierce posted a response on twitter that was just the perfect response, and it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so tired of white people these days (and I am one). I just don’t get why it is so hard to see

  22. Dutch says:

    You know you are on the wrong side of history when Aaron Rodgers grabs the moral high ground on you.

  23. Liz version 700 says:

    Nope. You are a small little man and you just outed yourself.

  24. LeonsMomma says:

    If Drew was in New Orleans — or in San Diego — he needs to go to one of the protests and talk to the people there. He is so isolated (no excuse, but it is what it is), that he needs to get in the thick of it to understand. Talk to his teammates, the people on the street.

    • audge says:

      He wouldn’t be safe at one of those right now.

      Drew had 4 years since kneeling began and he still doesn’t get it. Teammates said they’ve discussed these issues with Drew before.

      Drew knows why they kneeled but feels more loyalty and respect for the flag and anthem than he does for black lives

  25. Case says:

    This is being deliberately obtuse at best and gaslighting at worst. Colin Kaepernick has said EXPLICITLY what he was doing by kneeling during the anthem. He said that he DOES respect the military and that his protest was not about them. In fact, it was about having the utmost respect for them — they fought for freedom in this country that is not afforded equally to everyone. Which is wrong, and not respectful whatsoever for everything our troops have lost in the pursuit of that freedom. Colin just wasn’t going to stand for a flag that doesn’t stand for him. He did exactly what he has the freedom to do, peacefully protest. It makes me enraged when I see people trying to twist the meaning of his protest or act like he’s doing something wrong, when he has in fact ALWAYS been peaceful in his protests and is more involved in improving communities around the United States than the fking president is. Enough.

  26. Ange says:

    It shits me how conservatives try to act like they have a monopoly on love of country and freedom. They don’t.

    • AMA1977 says:

      I know, right? Al Franken said (I think in Lying Liars, but I’m not sure) that liberals love their country like adults. They have expectations, can see flaws, expect accountability, but make the choice to love. Whereas conservatives love their country like a four-year-old loves her mommy, and that’s just not helping anyone.

      It’s not unpatriotic to point out the flaws and expect better, and to work towards improving life for all of us. It’s uber-patriotic. Wanting your country to ACTUALLY be the best it can be is much more loving than just pretending MURICA’S THE BEST and ignoring the glaring evidence to the contrary.

  27. molly says:

    Drew Brees reminds me of Chris Pratt, in that the only reason they couch their words even a little bit is because they have handlers and fans. If they were just unfamous randos, they’d be their racist AF selves with no shame.

  28. SM says:

    I can’t with these zombies “drawing line” at a flag and then turning the other way and shitting on Constitution.

  29. David says:

    His response to Trump yesterday is a step in the right direction and I’m glad he acknowledged his poor choice of words and the error of his ways for there to be change. Please post a follow up on that as well. We must recognize our faults and also strengths.