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Brees' op-ed

NBC News op-ed: Drew Brees’ ‘biggest mistake’ is believing US flag ‘means anything’ – Fox News

An opinion piece published by NBC News claimed that NFL superstar Drew Brees‘ “biggest mistake” when defending the American flag was “believing” that it “means anything.”

Brees unwittingly sparked a national firestorm when he defended the flag when asked during an interview about the kneeling protests that have taken place at football games over the years, insisting it was a sign of “disrespect.”

However, amid the political climate following the death of George Floyd, Brees was widely condemned even by many NFL players. The star New Orleans Saints quarterback later apologized for his remarks.

On Thursday, NBC News’ “THINK” page teased the column, “Drew Brees’ biggest mistake?’ Believing the American flag means anything.” The column’s actual headline read, “Drew Brees’ comments on George Floyd protest prioritize symbols over justice.”

BROADCAST NETS SPEND OVER 700 MINUTES ON GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS, 5 MINUTES ON RIOT DEATHS

“[Brees] has unfortunately become the poster child for what happens when you venerate a hollow space wrapped up in red, white and blue,” writer Noah Berlatsky claimed. “Brees believed that his comments honored the flag and America’s ideals. But valuing a symbol of justice over justice itself isn’t moral or righteous. It’s the opposite. When honoring the flag is the price of justice, then the flag does not symbolize justice. It symbolizes force, inequality and racism. It’s a flag of conquest for white people, not of mercy or freedom for all.”

Berlatsky then compared Brees’ meaning of the American flag, which Brees said reminded him of his grandfathers who served in World War II, to 1852 remarks made by Frederick Douglass describing Independence Day, “the sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me.”

“Brees wants his interpretation of the flag honored; everyone, he insists, should put their hands on their hearts before the flag to show ‘that we are all in this together.’ But some people, like Douglass, or Floyd, or Kaepernick — banned from Brees’ league for his protest — are not equals in America,” Berlatsky explained. “Brees will not stand in solidarity with them unless they first respect his symbols. You have to say the nation is righteous before the nation will consider whether to stop murdering you.”

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He continued, “There is no unity and solidarity centered on the flag, because the flag, and the nation, don’t have any virtue. Only human beings can have that. [Kaepernick] asked his country to think about its own symbols, rather than blindly worshipping them. Brees, and white Americans in general, have not risen to this challenge. This nation must care more about its soul than its symbols. It’s better to burn a flag than a person.”

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Brees' Calls

Ted Cruz calls Drew Brees’ anthem-kneeling apology ‘sadly predictable,’ rips pro sports – Fox News

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called Drew Brees’ apology for his remarks about kneeling during the national anthem on Thursday “sadly predictable.”

Brees told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday he would never agree with the gesture of kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest. The New Orleans Saints quarterback was met with backlash among his teammates and other players across the sports world, which led the backpedaling.

DREW BREES APOLOGIZES AFTER VISCERAL BACKLASH OVER STANCE AGAINST KNEELING DURING NATIONAL ANTHEM

Cruz, however, appeared to be upset with Brees’ apology.

“Sadly predictable. Pro sports have become PC speech police, terrified of offending the angry Left. Words you can no longer say in today’s NFL: ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America….,’” Cruz wrote.

In a lengthy Instagram message, Brees said he made comments that were “insensitive and completely missed the mark on what 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,” he added.

DREW BREES FINDS SUPPORT AMID BACKLASH OVER STANCE ON KNEELING DURING NATIONAL ANTHEM

The 41-year-old tried to clarify his stance.

“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,” he wrote. “I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.”

He said he acknowledged that he and other Americans have not done enough to fight for equality for African-Americans.

“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,” he added.

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“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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