UPDATE: Drew Brees has issued an apology after receiving backlash for his comments about kneeling during the National Anthem.
The professional athlete took to social media on Thursday to ask for “forgiveness” following his “insensitive” remarks.
“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,” Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, began. “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,” Brees continued. “This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”
Brees went on to say he will step up and help fight for social justice.
“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,” the NFL star told his followers. “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,” Brees added. “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,” Brees concluded his message. “For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”
NFL quarterback Drew Brees can add one more fumble to his career total.
The New Orleans Saints star is the latest public figure to spark backlash over his comments surrounding his beliefs on the National Anthem and the United States flag.
On Wednesday, Yahoo Finance interviewed Brees and asked him about his stance on the recent nationwide protests in response to George Floyd‘s death, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on Monday, May 25.