Drew Brees found himself in some hot water on Wednesday when his comments about the NFL protests against systemic racism and social injustice went viral. Brees was speaking about the protests when he said he would never support anyone protesting during the national anthem.
Brees later said that the protests were disrespectful to the military and police, which led to a firestorm of criticism, especially during the current climate.
Since receiving backlash for his comments, Brees has taken to social media to issue a statement apologizing for his “insensitive” remarks.
“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,” Brees wrote. “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.
“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.”
The good news for Drew Brees is that he will have the opportunity to directly speak with his teammates today. According to a report from Pro Football Talk, the New Orleans Saints have a previously scheduled team meeting so you can ensure Brees’ comments will be discussed in order to avoid a fracture in the locker room.