Choose Your Words Carefully
If you know anything about Drew Brees outside of the world of football, you know that he is a thoughtful, caring, and compassionate person. He and his wife have donated millions to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They donated $5 million dollars towards COVID-19 relief funds in the area too. But even the most well-spoken of us mess up once in a while.
Yesterday, Brees was asked during an interview how he felt about NFL players potentially kneeling again during the National Anthem prior to the game. Brees stated that he would "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag." Now that statement on its own, probably not a big deal. But the reason NFL players took a knee was never to disrespect the flag, anthem, or our troops. It was to protest violence by police against African-American men. The sports world exploded. Stars from every sport spoke out against Brees, including some of his own teammates. Brees issued a heartfelt apology earlier today.
It's easy to not say the right thing sometimes. When we talked about this story on the air today, I was very careful to point out how I felt about this issue. I want to make sure that my words are not taken and used against me. I support the player's right to kneel. They aren't doing it to protest the flag, anthem, or our troops. They are protesting exactly what happened to George Floyd. That said, when I hear the anthem, I react differently. I stand, and I think of all those that died to give us the freedoms we enjoy. Including the freedom to protest how we choose.
Issues like these are never easy to navigate. They can be uncomfortable and dangerous. But the conversation still needs to happen. It's how progress will happen. And maybe we'll realize that both sides have their points.