In true New Orleans Saints Drew Brees fashion, the superstar quarterback is hitting back against fellow footballer Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to acknowledge the American flag and sit during the National Anthem, calling it “disrespectful.”
Kaepernick caused outrage when he refused to stand during the National Anthem and would not even show respect to the American flag, explaining that he would not stand for a country that “oppresses black people.”
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media a couple days ago. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
But now, Brees says he “wholeheartedly” disagrees with Kaepernick’s disrespect for the freedom that the country stands for.
“I disagree. I wholeheartedly disagree,” Brees told ESPN. “Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.”
“The great thing about this country is that we have the freedoms that allow you to speak out openly about any issue,” Brees continued. “So I’m not commenting on the issue itself because any person has the right to speak out on any issue they want. That’s the great thing about being an American. But the American flag is what represents those freedoms. It represents the very freedom that Colin Kaepernick gets the opportunity to exercise by speaking out his opinion in a peaceful manner about that issue.”
“Like, it’s an oxymoron that you’re sitting down, disrespecting that flag that has given you the freedom to speak out,” Brees said.
“Listen, if I chose to speak out on every issue that I have an opinion about, that’s all I’d do all day,” Brees said. “I’d probably have a hundred Twitter posts a day. But this one…”
“I’ve been on five USO trips, so I’ve had a chance to meet and talk with a lot of military personnel,” said Brees. “I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of the things that they go through. Also having family that have served and sitting around and listening to my grandfather talk about World War II, so maybe that gives me a heightened level of appreciation for them. But when I look at that flag, I think about them too. I think about a lot of things. Like when I stand and listen to the national anthem with my hand over my heart, there is emotions that well up inside of me.”
“Like, I could shed a tear every time the national anthem plays if I would allow myself because it’s that powerful.”