New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees responds to Donald Trump of player protests against racial injustice
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees responds to Donald Trump of player protests against racial injustice

NFL: Drew Brees responds to president Donald Trump after comments about players kneeling during national anthem

NFL quarterback Drew Brees has responded to criticism from president Donald Trump by insisting that he is now behind players kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

Brees sparked controversy when, amid the protests in the US sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody, he told Yahoo that he would never "take a knee" during the customary national anthem before an NFL game.

Brees was forced to apologise after he took a similar stance to that of president Trump when saying he would "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag" after being asked about NFL players kneeling.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback faced a huge backlash from the public, fans and even several players on his own team, and he soon apologised saying his comments "lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy".

Trump has been a long-term critic of players kneeling during the anthem, and unsurprisingly spoke out against Brees, not for his original comments but for apologising and changing his stance.

Trump tweeted that Brees "should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag" and added that: "We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!"

Brees, though, has responded directly to the president and insisted that he now knows the protests have nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, and never have been.

"Through my ongoing conversations with friends, team-mates, and leaders in the black community, I realise this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been," Brees said in his social media message to Trump.

"We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.

"We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial and prison reform.

"We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! If not now, then when?

"We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action.

"The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us."

More NFL content from Sporting Life

Responsible gambling

We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

Sky Bet's responsible gambling tools are detailed here and if you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit

Further support and information can be found at GamCare and

Like what you've read?

Most Read

Sporting Life
Join for free!
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Race Replays
My stable horse tracker
giftOffers and prize draws
newsExclusive content