Drew Brees Responds to Trump, Stands by His Apology for Comments on Protesting American Flag After President Expressed Support

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas stand for the national anthem before in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 22, 2019.
Mark Zaleski / AP file

In a message addressed to President Donald Trump on Friday night, Drew Brees stood by his apology for earlier comments on “disrespecting the flag,” after Trump wrote that the New Orleans Saints quarterback should not have changed his stance.

Brees was following up on his pledge to be an “ally” for the black community in the fight for racial equality and social justice.

“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,” Brees wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Brees’ statement came about six hours after Trump said Brees “should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag.”

“OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. “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!”

A number of Brees’ teammates sent tweets of support following the quarterback’s response.

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SOURCE: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Clarence E. Hill Jr