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Drew Brees Apologizes, But Will Michael Thomas Forgive?

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Drew Brees apologizes

On Wednesday New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees , in an interview with Yahoo Finance, made a comment that many felt undermined protests of the murder of George Floyd that have waged on since his death. Teammates like Michael Thomas, as well as pro athletes from other leagues like LeBron James, were seriously outraged and not afraid to express it. In fact, Brees’ comments left a lot of pro athletes feeling completely betrayed.

At the heart of the controversy was Brees’ comments about athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, which were the kind of protests led by Colin Kaepernick intended to call attention to the type of police brutality that ended up killing Mr. Floyd. Kaepernick was all but blackballed by the N.F.L. as the league faced fan backlash over seeing players kneel during the anthem.

Since Kaepernick, along with teammate Eric Reid, began the peaceful anthem protests, there has been controversy regarding whether or not kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to America. Some fans, and team owners, said yes. Players, and many other fans, said that using one’s voice in a peaceful protest is about as American a value as it gets.

Brees said:

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”

Drew Brees’ Interview With Yahoo Finance

Brees, for his part, seemed to get caught up in the N.F.L.’s narrative that anthem protests are protests against America and disrespectful to those who fought for our country. For those athletes who protested, using their voice by taking a knee was never about disrespecting America. Brees’ teammates and colleagues were outraged, not only by his comment but by his timing.

Saints’ Star Receiver Michael Thomas Was One Of The First To Speak Up

Teammate Emmanuel Sanders Was Unhappy With Brees

An Emotional Malcolm Jenkins Calls Brees’ Comments Hurtful & Insensitive

LeBron James Took Offense To Drew Brees’ Comment

The 49’ers’ Richard Sherman Calls Into Question Brees’ Point

The Jets’ Jamal Adams Expressed The Disappointment A Lot Of Players Felt

The McCourty Twins Calls Brees’ Comment A Disgrace

Aaron Rodgers Shines A Light On The Issue

Minnesota Lynx Star Maya Moore Reacts To Brees’ Comments

Former NFL Star Ryan Clark Takes Drew Brees’ Comment Personally

Chiefs’ Safety Tyrann Mathieu Expresses His Disappointment

N.F.L. Free-Agent Damon Harrison Sr. Thinks Brees Should Know Better

Former N.B.A. Star Stephen Jackson Gives A Shoutout To Micheal Thomas

Drew Brees Apologizes

Brees was quick to apologize, offering this post on Thursday morning.

View this post on Instagram

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

Michael Thomas Responds To Drew Brees’ Apology

So how did Michael Thomas take Brees’ apology? Like this:

Thomas also expressed a sentiment, shared by many others when he also said:

We agree.

Image: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

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