Responses to Drew Brees’ controversial statements about national anthem protests have ramped way up in less than a day. FOX Sports 1’s Shannon Sharpe managed to get things all the way up to calling for Brees’ retirement.
At 41, Brees may already be entering his final NFL season. There was some speculation that he might do so heading into the offseason. Instead, he signed a two-year, $50 million contract that will likely be the final one of his career.
Brees has had his share of controversies off the field, but nothing like what yesterday’s comments set off. He was asked if his thoughts on protests like Colin Kaepernick’s had evolved, given the current climate in the country following the killing of George Floyd and other African Americans in recent months. He maintained that he will “never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag.”
He tried to walk the comments back a bit yesterday, and outright apologized today, but not before a full firestorm began. On this morning’s episode of FS1’s Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe said he lost all respect for the future Hall of Fame quarterback. “He probably should just go ahead and retire now,” Sharpe said this morning. “He will never be the same.”
Shannon sharpe hit it right on the head. Drew already showed you who he was 4 years ago when this topic first came up. How many times a snake gotta bite you before you realize it’s a snake? Get Brees outta here. He don’t care about us. All this is damage control. pic.twitter.com/An9dHpGJVS
— Mike (@Olmikelaaawry) June 4, 2020
“Drew Brees still doesn’t seem to get it. Now he issued an apology, Skip, but it’s meaningless,” Sharpe said during the show. “Because the guys know that he spoke his heart the very first time around. Now, I don’t know what Drew’s going to do, but he probably should just go ahead and retire now. He will never be the same. Take it from a guy that has been a leader in the locker room for a number of years. At every step, Skip, I’ve been the leader in the locker room. What he said… they will never look at him the same because he spoke his heart, and it wasn’t what he said, it is how he said it. He was defiant.”
“‘I will NEVER respect the man,’ even though Colin Kaepernick told you what he was doing. And Skip, guess what? Even after all this, nobody had even mentioned the flag. He brought that up on his own. Drew, I don’t know what you were thinking. I don’t know what you hoped to accomplish. But whatever you hoped to accomplish, it failed miserably.”
We’ll wait to see if he’s right about how Drew Brees’ Saints teammates take things. Some, including his top offensive weapons like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, are clearly upset. After his apology today, however, Demario Davis and Craig Robertson signaled that they appreciate him admitting that he was wrong. That doesn’t mean everyone will accept it on the same level.
If this is to be Brees’ final NFL season, he may have more than just his advanced NFL age wearing on him this fall.