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  • Writer's pictureMarvin Manigault Jr

A Saints Fan Perspective on Drew Brees kneeling comment • by Theodore Pierre III

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Recently Saints star Quarterback is catching heat for his comments about kneeling during the National anthem and the quote goes “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,". After reading this, seeing the backlash from his words and Drew’s quick apology, one facebook post jumped out at me. I am so glad that Theodore Pierre (TP) allowed me to share his thoughts on the matter.

TP • "I am an American Soldier, an avid Saints fan, and have been a huge supporter of Drew Brees for years. The things Drew Brees has done for my city, especially immediately after Katrina, will always mean the world to me. With that said, what Drew said was insensitive and hurtful. I perfectly understand what he was TRYING to say. He was trying to have it both ways, saying how he will stand with his black brothers and sisters but never disrespect the flag. He explained why he felt the way he did about the flag...and that's great. The context is cool. However its irrelevant. I say that its irrelevant because the NFL players literally told EVERYONE what they were doing. They were not protesting the flag or national anthem...they were bringing awareness to the police brutality problem that the US has had for decades. Those are just facts. It doesn't matter what Donald Trump says, it doesn't matter what Fox news says, or CNN, or MSNBC says. The facts are the players were NOT protesting the flag or the national anthem. This has already been debated and if after 3 years, if Drew Brees or anyone else still perceives kneeling as disrespect to the flag or military, then he (and anyone else) have refused to understand, refused to listen to facts, and are choosing to be offended.

Everyone has a right to give their opinion. Free speech and all that, right? That's why I wake up and put on this uniform everyday. The players have the right to protest in whatever way they see fit, just as Drew has every right to disagree with the way they do it. But, please try to understand why these players and fans everywhere are hurt. Drew straight up said he will "never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag of the United States of America." That did a number of things. First, it told everyone that he still doesn't understand that no one was kneeling to disrespect the flag (which I've already explained is FACTS and not an opinion). Second, it tells everyone that he will never understand their point of view. And watch the video. He was extremely adamant and somewhat defiant in the way he said it. That was like a gut punch to every black and brown person who believed in Drew. He basically said that he doesn't, and will never, empathize with them and see where their hurt comes from. Lastly, its correct that Drew Brees has been consistent in his disapproval of kneeling during the national anthem, but it is also known that people were pissed about it back then too. The outrage is just worse now because of what happened with George Floyd (literally died from a cop kneeling on his neck), and (as I said earlier) it seems like Drew hasn't learned a thing in 3 years, even with all these unarmed black people being killed by police unnecessarily just in the past month.

I find it hard to understand how it is so easy for people to willfully choose to ignore how important black people have been for the US. Ignoring slavery and how much black people built this country, don't forget, black people have participated and fought in literally every war in this country. Hell, in the revolutionary war, blacks were told that if they fought, they could earn their freedom...and went right back into the shackles after they helped win the war. So for Drew Brees to invoke the names of his grandfathers is extremely insensitive, especially when my grandfathers and the grandfathers of his teammates fought in the same wars but were broken down and beaten for wearing the uniform when they got back from said wars. His grandfathers are American heros, and I appreciate them. But his grandfathers came back to a country that loved them. My grandfathers, and the grandfathers of his teammates came home to segregation, were told they were less than, and that their sacrifice wasn't as important as the sacrifices of Drew Brees's grandfathers.

Look, I don't think there is a single person who believes Drew Brees is a bad guy, or dislikes black folk. His actions up to this point have already proved his support for the black community. I completely disagree with the people dragging him; its not constructive. However, when you have a platform like he has, and the status that he does, what he said is the perfect example of the problem black people have been trying to fight; those people who consider themselves "allies" to black people but still refuse to acknowledge how black people have a completely different experience than white people do in our society."

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