Saints quarterback Drew Brees has responded to President Donald Trump's tweet Friday about Brees' stance on kneeling during the national anthem.
Brees took to Instagram and tagged @realdonaldtrump in a photo simply reading, "To President Trump."
After conversations with friends, leaders, and teammates in the black community, Brees said he realized "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."
"We are at a critical junction in our nation's history! If not now, then when?"
Brees' full Instagram post is below:
View this post on Instagram
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. 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? 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. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.
President Trump tweeted today that Saints Quarterback Drew Brees should not have taken back his original stance on kneeling during the national anthem.
The President said that he is a big fan of Brees, calling him one of the greatest quarterbacks but stated that "OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high." He went on to say, "There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!"
See the tweet below:
...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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
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. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
On Thursday, Brees made an apology video on his Instagram account after comments he made on Wednesday saying that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to both the American flag and the United States.
"Step-by-step you will see my heart for exactly what it is and the way everyone around me sees it," Brees says in the post. "I’m sorry it has taken this long to act and to participate in a meaningful way but I am your ally in this fight."
During an appearance on Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Brees discussed the ongoing protests that have taken place throughout the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
At one point during the interview, Brees was asked about players — led by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who knelt during the national anthem in 2016 and 2017 in protest over the extrajudicial killing of black people by police.
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