VIDEO: Drew Brees Pledges to Be Better in Second Apology for Controversial Remarks

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees issued a second apology for his recent comments.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees issued a second apology for his recent comments. /

Drew Brees made headlines this week after he said he could not agree with anyone who takes a knee during the playing of the national anthem before a sporting event. This drew a ton of criticism from athletes, including from some of his New Orleans Saints teammates. Brees clearly missed the true meaning behind such a protest and issued an apology Thursday morning as a result that drew a new round of criticism. That was followed by a second message Thursday night in the form of a video posted to his Instagram account.

Brees references the death of George Floyd and makes it clear he did not mean to hurt anyone with his initial comments. He appears to be genuinely sorry, and the fact he felt the need to attempt an additional apology shows that he heard a lot the past 24 hours about why so many were upset with him and has thought deeply about it.

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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. 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. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. 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. 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. 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. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

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The quarterback acknowledges at the start of the video that there is not much he can say to make things better right now. However, truly showing authentic contrition is a good first step, and should help avoid any additional conflicts with teammates in the coming weeks and months as the Saints push on.