Drew Brees apologized for saying that he viewed NFL anthem protests as disrespectful to the flag less than 24 hours after saying it, the first time. Twelve hours later, he would apologize again.
Brees took to Instagram again to make his apology, but this time he made a video as opposed to writing. The Saints signal-caller said that he wanted to make the video so people could “see in my eyes how I sorry I am.”
“I know that it hurt many people,” the future Hall of Famer said.. “That was never my intention. I wish I would have laid out what was on my heart in regards to the George Floyd murder, Ahmaud Arbery, the years and years of social injustice, police brutality and the need for so much reform and change in regard to legislation and so many other things to bring equality to our black communities.
“I’m sorry. I will do better and I will be a part of the solution. I am your ally. I know no words will do that justice, that’s going to have to be…” then the video abruptly ends.
Brees made his initial comments on the anthem protests on Wednesday in an interview with Yahoo Finance. Given the civil unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd, Brees was asked what his thoughts would be if there was a resumption of the anthem protests that were so rampant in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Brees reiterated his earlier stance that he did not approve of such a protest.
“Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place,” he said.
“So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed,” he explained.
The comments prompted an avalanche of criticism from his teammates, sports and mainstream media, and NBA superstar LeBron James.
Brees apologized for the comments Thursday morning.
“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,” Brees wrote.
“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.”
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn