Drew Brees still thinks the Black Lives Matter protests are about respecting the flag.
When Colin Kaepernick took a knee in peaceful protest during the national anthem of an NFL preseason game in 2016, the world exploded in discourse.
Kaepernick was protesting what the American flag is supposed to mean versus what it represents. He was shining a light on what essentially amounts to over 300 years of oppression in the black community while White America turns a blind eye at best or participates at worst.
Shockingly, White America was infuriated. Kaepernick’s peaceful protest was almost immediately remixed as disrespect to the flag and those who fought for it. Despite members of the military trying to slowly explain to folks that this was not the case, Kaepernick’s protest was hijacked.
Four years later, the country is on fire because of what Kaepernick was actually protesting (police brutality) continues to cause the death of unarmed black Americans on a weekly basis.
It was never about the American flag, no matter how easy it was to simplify such an uncomfortable topic for so many people in privileged positions.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees remains among that group of people.
Brees, a white quarterback who plays in one of the blackest cities in America, remained silent about the protests until June 2nd, when he did the minimum by posting a #blackouttuesday image. One day later he used his platform to undermine the message by reinforcing and spreading disinformation.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees told Yahoo! Finance.
Brees was referring to whether kneeling during the anthem in support of the protests is something that should be done, which proves the point continues to be missed. His first public statement about the crisis facing the black community is to regurgitate talking points from four years ago, talking points that continue to hijack the message trying to be transmitted.
This song and dance is a dangerous reduction of the real issue at hand. Like many who lose sight of a murdered black American at the first sight of property damage, trying to make the Black Lives Matter protests to end police brutality about the American flag is downright misleading.
Quarterbacks are the smartest players on a football field, and we’ve been told that a high degree of intelligence is needed to do the job effectively. Drew Brees is a Hall of Fame quarterback, which is an endorsement of how intelligent he is at being able to see a situation unfold in front of him and find the best possible solution to solve it.
That’s why hearing him say that the protests are about respecting the American flag and not what they’re actually about is so disappointing.
Brees is actually smarter than this, and yet he just showed us he’s not.