Saints QB Drew Brees issued a powerful statement to Donald Trump about why he now supports taking a knee during NFL games, after Trump dissed him for changing his opinion.
NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem and raising of the American flag has never got as much attention — and shifts in opinion — as it has in the past few days. It started out when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said in a June 3 interview, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America” by kneeling. Then he had a had a complete change of heart. After an initial apology for his statement, Drew explained how he now realizes that taking a knee was never about the flag, but about racial injustice and peaceful protesting. He made a powerful statement in a clap back towards President Donald Trump, who had cheered on his initial anti-kneeling stance and was upset when Drew changed his mind. It happened to come on the same day that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally acknowledged that after four years, “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” including taking a knee.
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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.
A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Jun 5, 2020 at 7:10pm PDT
Drew, 41, had already apologized, but decided to share share a lengthy Instagram post late on June 5 where he directly addressed the president. “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,” he began.
“We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week.