Brees 'should not have taken back his original stance' on flag

Tanya Simon
June 6, 2020

President Donald Trump yesterday lobbed barbs at protesters who kneel during the national anthem, after NFL quarterback Drew Brees apologised for remarks he made about the practice.

In September of 2017, President Trump ripped National Football League players who were protesting, saying "Wouldn't you love to see one of these National Football League owners", he said, "when someone disrespects our flag to say, "get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now"? Out".

"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 and prison reform". Brees apologised Thursday, saying his words "lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy".

But the United States president tweeted on Friday that Brees "should not have taken back his original stance".

After Trump chimed in with his own anti-kneeling comments, it was the turn for others to shut down the president on Twitter.

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"I realize this is not an issue about the American flag".

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that Brees shouldn't have apologized for his original statement and stood by the QBs stance on taking a knee.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1268998143733051394 "I am a big fan of Drew Brees". He also said standing for the national anthem with a hand over one's heart shows "unity and shows we are all in this together". We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! "I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country".

Brees was not the only high profile figure in the NFL to reconsider his stance on protests during the national anthem, as commissoner Roger Goodell released a video Friday afternoon admitting the league was "wrong" in not listening to players "earlier".

"I wish I would have laid out what was on my heart in regards to the George Floyd murder, Ahmaud Arbery, the years and years of social injustice, police brutality and the need for so much reform and change in regards to legislation and so many other things to bring equality to our black communities", Brees said, referring to another African-American man who was killed while jogging by a former law enforcement official in Georgia. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. "There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!" he added in a second tweet. His comments sparked outrage from the sports community, including from Saints teammates Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

Brees' letter to Trump appears to have gone over extremely well with his teammates, some of whom praised him nearly instantly.

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