Drew Brees Backtracks on National Anthem Comments: 'I Completely Missed the Mark' - Lakers Daily

Drew Brees Backtracks on National Anthem Comments: ‘I Completely Missed the Mark’

Drew Brees New Orleans Saints John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees backtracked on his views about kneeling during the national anthem on Thursday.

Brees apologized for the comments he made Wednesday regarding the possibility that NFL players would resume kneeling during the anthem this season, as Colin Kaepernick and many others did during the 2016 season.

The 41-year-old had said that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag,” but apologized for those comments in an Instagram post.

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I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

“In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country,” Brees wrote. “They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”

Brees had been under scrutiny from people all over the sports world, including Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

However, the quarterback’s apology was received well by his coaches and teammates.

“What we had hoped the first time was that Drew would elaborate more on racism and the sentiments of the black community,” Saints linebacker Demario Davis said during an interview Thursday morning on CNN. “And he admitted he missed the mark. So for him to come out and say, ‘I missed the mark, I’ve been insensitive, but what I’m gonna start doing is listening and learning from the black community and finding ways that I can help them.’ I think that’s a model for all of America.”

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas tweeted his response to Brees’ statement.

While James has yet to comment on the apology, it is clear that players across all sports are in support of the political protests and movements against police brutality.