As protests continue across the country, many teams, coaches and athletes are re-evaluating their stances on the Black Lives Matter movement and kneeling during the national anthem. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees remains somewhat unmoved in his stance on “respecting the flag”.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees made it clear that he will “never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag”.
Brees explained that the risks his grandfathers took as soldiers in World War II, and the sacrifices many have made in defense of the country are what he thinks about when he hears the national anthem. He said he thinks about those who made sacrifices during the civil rights movements during the anthem too.
The Saints quarterback conceded that “we still have a long way to go” in getting everything right in the United States. But he ultimately feels that respecting the flag is a show of unity and can lead to working together to solve the problems. Via Yahoo Finance:
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place.
So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point.
And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”
As passionate as Brees may be about the flag and what it means, his message hasn’t received the kind of acceptance that he might have wanted.
His teammate Michael Thomas soon took to Twitter and seemed disappointed at Brees’ perspective.
“He don’t know no better,” Thomas wrote shortly after the interview was publicized, in an apparently response to his quarterback.
He don’t know no better.
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 3, 2020
Do you agree with Drew Brees’ take on kneeling for the national anthem?