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Just a few days after Drew Brees came under fire for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem, his wife, Brittany Brees, took to Instagram to issue her own apology.
“WE ARE THE PROBLEM,” she wrote in part of a post shared to their Brees Dream Foundation account. “I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts.”
She also shared quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as a verse from the Bible.
“I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times,” Brittany continued, “and every time I read it and the words sink into my heart. I think yes this is what it’s all about…Only until the last few days , until we experienced the death threats we experienced the hate…Did I realize that these words were speaking directly to us.”
She then asked, “How could anyone who knows us or has had interactions with us think that Drew or I have a racist bone in our body?”
“But that’s the whole point,” Brittany continued. “Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one an another as God loves us. We can feel good about educating our children about the horrors of slavery and history. We can read books to our children about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X., Hank Aaron, Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman.. and feel like we are doing our part to raise our children to love, be unbiased and with no prejudice. To teach them about all of the African Americans that have fought for and risked their lives against racial injustice. Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing. Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM.”
In addition, she addressed her husband’s comments.
“To say ‘I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag’.. I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notions of what that flag means to us,” she wrote. “That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives..stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal.”
Near the end of her post, Brittany promised “we will do better.”
“We want to do better,” she wrote. “We want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem…is checking the box it means we are…not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry.”
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Drew made the comments during a recent interview with Yahoo Finance. Editor-at-Large Daniel Roberts looked back at Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem as a form of peaceful protest against police brutality and asked Drew how the NFL should respond to players doing the same in the upcoming season.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Drew said. “Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II—one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps—both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place.”
“So every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about,” he continued. “And in many cases, it brings me to tears thinking about all that has been sacrificed—not just those in the military but, for that matter, those throughout the Civil Rights Movements of the ’60s and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and we are all part of this solution.”
Several athletes, including LeBron James and Richard Sherman, criticized Drew for his comments. Drew later issued an apology via Instagram, at one point saying, “I am sorry, and I will do better, and I will be part of this solution, and I am your ally.”