Saints Quarterback Drew Brees’s Wife Apologizes for Husband’s Comments on Flag

June 8, 2020 Updated: June 9, 2020

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees has apologized multiple times following backlash from the community after he said during an interview it is disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States,” Brees said during an interview with Yahoo, adding that the national anthem reminds him of his grandfathers, who served in the armed forces during World War II.

The Saints star’s wife, Brittany Brees, has now apologized for her husband’s comments in an Instagram post.

Brittany shared the apology on Saturday, opening with the caption “WE ARE THE PROBLEM,” and also adding two quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

“Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM. To say ‘I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag’ I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notions of what that flag means to us,” Brittany said.

“That’s the problem, we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives, stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt, we will do better. We want to do better, we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry,” the statement continued.

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WE ARE THE PROBLEM . I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts. I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times and every time I read it and the words sink into my heart. I think yes this is what it’s all about…Only until the last few days ,until we experienced the death threats we experienced the hate… Did I realize that these words were speaking directly to us.. how could anyone who knows us or has had interactions with us think that Drew or I have a racist bone in our body? But that’s the whole point . Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one an another as God loves us. We can feel good about educating our children about the horrors of slavery and history. We can read books to our children about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X., Hank Aaron, Barack Obama, Rosa parks, Harriet Tubman.. and feel like we are doing our part to raise our children to love , be unbiased and with no prejudice. To teach them about all of the African Americans that have fought for and risked their lives against racial injustice. Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing. Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM. To say “I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag “.. I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notion‘s of what that flag means to us. That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives .. stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt …we will do better.. We want to do better , we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem…is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry ???????? -Brittany Brees

Een bericht gedeeld door Brees Dream Foundation (@breesdreamfoundation) op

President Donald Trump criticized the quarterback after he apologized multiple times for the comments he made during the interview against kneeling during the national anthem.

“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,” Trump said on Twitter. “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,” the president continued. “There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag—NO KNEELING!”

Epoch Times Photo
Attendees sing the national anthem at a Make America Great Again rally in Rochester, Minn., on Oct. 4, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Brees wrote a statement on Instagram to Trump following the backlash he received from the community and said, “I realize this is not an issue about the American flag.”

“We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities,” Brees said. “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 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,” he continued.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.