Saint QB Drew Brees Still Clueless About Protests

    I commend New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for an attempt to somehow positively and compromisingly fit into this protest scenario and show universal support, but I must criticize him for playing both sides of the fence at a time when you either stand against injustice in the country or are silent contributors to the deterioration of the land.  

    Drew Brees on Twitter

    As a way to show respect to all, our #Saints team will kneel in solidarity prior to the national anthem & stand together during the anthem.

    Kneeling in solidarity and then standing for the anthem is like winning a million dollars and finding out that the money is fake when you go to spend it.  Brees says he wants to show respect for all? Who is the all?  Hes feeding into the theory that there are two sides to the situation. Theres only one side – justice. 

    This isn’t a one time thing, which many folks in the white community haven’t grasped yet, or outright refuse to. These protests aren’t going to fade away with Colin Kaepernick’s absence from the NFL, especially with owners and league commissioners giving ultimatums and threats about not standing during the anthem. 

    Lee Peters on Twitter

    @drewbrees Solidarity? I thought the protest was about cops killing black people?

    Why are we coerced into feeling like we’re choosing between respect for our country and wanting our country to truly live by the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence, the Anthem and Constitution? America is supposedly the land of the free where everyone is created equal. How come so many non-people of color are taking such offense to Black folks refusing to be the punching bags and outcasts of American society ?

    If Brees was a real G, hed just kneel.  

    His statement alone shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what kneeling for the anthem is about in the first place and Im getting kind of tired of explaining it to folks. Its not that complicated. If people want to continue to insist that kneeling during the anthem is an attack on military and people who have died for this country then you’ll continue to be completely mistaken and ignorant of reality. 

    BallerAlert on Twitter

    @drewbrees This is so weak! Telling people how to protest defeats the purpose. Kneeling was to protest police brutality not to disrespect the flag or anthem. Y’all have let trump take away your first amendment right. #trumphasmadeamockeryofourcountry

    Those kneeling are not against the flag. Lets put that BS copout to rest and deal with the real issues facing society. Brees isnt doing anything by supporting the false narrative that the flag is being disrespected by players unifying and speaking out against the harshest of injustices being perpetrated daily in this country and supported by Trump. 

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    Athletes vs Trump

    To appear to support the real issue by kneeling in solidarity only to stand during the anthem defeats the purpose of why Kaepernick took a knee in the first place, doesn’t help the cause and only continues to add further confusion to a very non-complicated issue. People just feel uncomfortable that black athletes in particular are no longer staying quiet for the money. Its a dramatic cultural shift for white players like Brees as well. I get it. 

    But the inflexibility and racist undertones of those refusing to acknowledge player protests as legitimate, needed and positive to the improvement of our country, by suggesting that they also stand with the oppressors or dictating how the protests will be carried out, adds more division and controversy to an already boiling pot situation. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.