After the very controversial statement New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees made last night, he has issued an apology the morning after. Firstly, I would like to go over a couple of events that happened between late last night and his early morning apology.
This article will include:
- The New Orleans Saints team meeting
- The fans/protesters outrage during last night’s NOLA protests
- Drew Brees’ apology itself
- My thoughts on the apology
The New Orleans Saints team meeting
The night of June 3rd, 2020, was one that the New Orleans Saints had many things to talk about. This meeting reportedly was scheduled 2 weeks in advance and was not spurred due to the Brees comment. There is a good chance, however, that this meeting entailed the comment and trying to somewhat repair the team chemistry.
First reported by Diana Russini, this meeting was fully virtual (per NFL guidelines) and was not due to any backlash from his comment.
After the comment Brees made, and before the apology, there was huge backlash from fans everywhere. As seen in the two videos below, there were huge amounts of disdain for the veteran QB, and even people chanting profanity directed at him.
After his apology, this likely will not end for a couple of weeks as some people choose to remain put on their opinion that he is wrong. While many Saints fans are at least somewhat relieved at the sight of response, many are also still going to be upset for the time being.
(Please note, both videos have strong language in some way, shape, or form)
Drew Brees’ apology
This is where we come to the apology, which was made very early in the morning of June 4th, 2020. It was posted at roughly 8:22 AM EST, so 7:22 AM for Drew, which shows he has clearly been up all night thinking about this. His first apology came via Instagram…I will also include a transcript along with the link so that those who do not have these social media platforms can view it regardless.
His Twitter post transcript:
“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community, and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know… “
Then linking his next apology on Instagram, which is much more in-depth…
This post read:
“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community, and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.
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. 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.
This is where I stand:
I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.
I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.
I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.
I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.
I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.
I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.
I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.
For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”
My thoughts on the apology
In terms of a written and thoughtful apology, Brees could not have done better. This apology clearly came from the bottom of his heart, and he showed that he did not mean what he said in the way it was portrayed. The apology ended up being quite extensive, which for the amount of backlash he received was probably a good choice. He showed fully that in no way was he disassociating from his teammates or counterparts, that he just was making the statement at the wrong time.
As I said in my last article, NFL: Reaction to Drew Brees’ comment (linked below), this was all a matter of timing issues. He made this statement at absolutely the wrong time, which he now understands.
One of the major comments I took away from the apology is, “I should do less talking and more listening.” This comment is exactly what teammate Malcolm Jenkins was preaching, that he should really listen and look into the protests before speaking. Now that this is all over, Brees will likely go on to apologize in his own time to teammates who he directly offended, however, he did include “teammates” at those he was issuing his apology to.
Overall, this was probably the better choice for Brees in the long-run. He made a mistake by doing what he did, but he issued an extremely heartfelt and emotional apology. Whether people take it or not is their own doing, however, he did his part in trying to repair the issue as best he could.
This being said, there is a takeaway for Brees in all this. Think before you speak. Whether or not you agree or disagree with his comment, he made the mistake of bringing the controversial topic to light at a poor time. He will learn from this, and overall, this could very well make the team stronger and unite more as a result.
Last night I saw a point made by a friend that I want to bring to light. In a 2017 matchup of Saints @ Dolphins, Brees kneeled with his teammates prior to the national anthem. This was his way of showing support to his teammates, but also his way of keeping his personal beliefs.
The comment I will quote directly, saying, “He has knelt in support of his black teammates. He just stated what standing means to him.”.
However, the most important part was the closing of the statement. “This isn’t about a kneel or a flag, this is about understanding another person’s perspective. I’ll kneel with you if you stand with me. We all deserve the respect of our perspectives.”
I believe this is absolutely the best response of the day by a lot of means. The statement is directed at both sides and trying to unite over the cause. Brees knows the stakes, he knows why protests are happening, and he has informed himself on the matters at hand. He will continue to support these protests in the future likely, as he always has, he just personally does not agree with that certain type of protest.
Are you ok with the apology that was left by Drew Brees? Leave a comment below.
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