Drew Brees to Trump: Kneeling was never about the American flag

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Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — New Orleans Saints’ quarterback has made a complete turnaround after making his first comments on the nationwide protests held in wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Two days after facing backlash for saying he will “never agree” with disrespecting the American flag, the star quarterback had a message for President Donald Trump.

“To @realdonaldtrump, through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities,” Brees wrote on Instagram. “We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”

After making his initial comments in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Brees issued two separate apologies.

That didn’t sit right with the president.

“I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag,” Trump tweeted. “OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high. We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!”

Several players throughout the league and athletes around the world have been extremely vocal on the ongoing issues of police brutality and social injustice.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the NFL Friday in light of everything going on.

Goodell said the NFL admits it was wrong for not listening to football players in the past.

“We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action,” Brees wrote. “The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.”

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