NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees said he will continue his stance against players who kneel during the national anthem before NFL games.
He made the remarks during an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States,” Brees said.
The quarterback said he envisioned his grandfathers fighting during World War II and risking their lives to protect the country.
“Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go,” Brees said. “But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”
Brees said he does respect his teammates as they fight for equality and justice.
However, several Saints took issue with the remarks. Malcolm Jenkins, who is an NFL player on the forefront of social injustice had the strongest words for Brees. He posted a video on social media that was later taken down.
"As I was trying to muster up the energy and find the words to address Drew Brees’ comments I recorded this video. Before I could post it, Drew reached out to me to discuss his point of view ... I considered you a friend, I looked up to you, you’re someone I had a great deal of respect for, but sometimes you should shut the f*ck up,” the safety said.
Michael Thomas tweeted out his ire. Him and Alvin Kamara both un-followed Brees on social media accounts.
Brees said he will never say it is okay to disrespect the American flag, but he did not offer another acceptable method of protest.