Since New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees seems to be having a little trouble understanding things at the moment, let me put this in a way he can understand: What he said yesterday was more damaging, detrimental, and heartbreaking to the city of New Orleans and fans of the Saints than Bountygate.
If you don’t remember Bountygate, then you’re not a Saints fan. Between 2009 and 2011, during which the team won the Super Bowl, the Saints conducted a scheme where players were paid bonuses under the table, bounties, to knock specific opposing players out of games. Those targeted included quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, and during the playoff run to their Super Bowl win, Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals, and Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings. Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended for life which in the NFL, is at least two years. Other coaches and officials for the team were suspended as well. It cost the team several draft picks and possibly another Super Bowl.
Yeah, Drew. Your comments are possibly worse than all that. Bountygate hurt. What you said is a knife in the back.
Drew Brees is a hero to New Orleans. He didn’t just resurrect the Saints, one of the most historically inept franchises in NFL history, but an entire city.
It took the Saints 20 seasons before even making the playoffs. It took them 34 seaons to win a game in the playoffs. They were worst than the Browns. Fans would wear paper sacks over their heads to games with “Aint’s” written on them. “Who dat?” was the biggest joke in the NFL. Who dat saying they gonna beat them Saints? Everybody and everybody did. Tampa Fucking Bay won a Super Bowl before the Saints.
Then hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and devastated the city. The team’s home field, the Super Dome, was used as a shelter for the poorest in the city, mostly African-American residents, who couldn’t flee the disaster. The Dome and the entire city were left devastated. It was so bad, many felt the city couldn’t rebuild. The team owner even contemplated giving up on the city and moving the team to San Antonio. Texas. My Saints in Texas? You son of a…
Then Drew arrived in free agency.
The team and the city rallied around Drew Brees. And Drew gave the love back. He was a big supporter and champion of the city, visiting children in hospitals, and raising millions of dollars for charities. And he led the Saints to their first, and so far, only Super Bowl. Drew could have been mayor of New Orleans, governor of Louisiana, and Senator, probably all at the same time. New Orleans and Louisiana LOVE Drew Brees. Drew helped the city rally around the Saints, whose success helped convince the city it could be rebuilt.
And then yesterday, he went and insulted not just every black fan of the Saints, but every black American in this nation. New Orleans is 60% black. Yesterday, Drew Brees blew them off.
Today, Drew apologized. He said, “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.”
Yeah, he totally missed the mark. Drew said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.”
The protests currently going on in over 100 cities in this nation over a cop murdering an unarmed black man has brought back what Colin Kaepernick protested against, for which he’s still blackballed today from the National Football League. For people like Drew Brees, he’s saying you can’t protest by marching in the streets and you can’t do it quietly by kneeling during the national anthem. Hey, white people…when can black people protest? Oh, never?
Never speaking out for what’s right has helped Drew become worth over $120 million. Kaepernick can’t get a tryout. Drew speaks from a privileged and comfy position of whiteness.
One of the reasons Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history is because he’s so smart. He’s one of the smartest guys in the league. And yet, his comments yesterday exhibit an unawareness, stupidity, and the sort of white privilege you would expect from…I hate to say it…a MAGAt. Ew!
Drew’s comments came from white privilege. It’s a white privilege not to understand and talk about what you don’t understand. Colin Kaepernick didn’t protest the flag or the national anthem. Are you paying attention? He protested against this nation’s long history and current state of systematic injustice to black Americans.
Lebron James said, “WOW MAN!! Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee??”
Richard Sherman of the 49ers said, “That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem.”
Retired player Julius Peppers said, “If you’re still talking about players “disrespecting the flag” by kneeling during the national anthem clearly you’re not ready for these conversations. Call a time out and come back later.”
Current free agent Damon Harrison Sr. said, “How can you be in the locker rooms, speaking to the players, know the reasoning, and yet still be dumb enough to believe it’s about the flag. Like HOW???? He should know better than that. He just doesn’t care. Damn man not Drew…”
Retired player Douglas Baldwin Jr said, “The reason my children have to live in a world that won’t empathize with their pain is because people like you are raising your children to perpetuate the cycle. Drew, you are the problem.”
Devin and Jason McCourty, twins who both play for the Patriots, said, “To speak about your grandfathers as if there weren’t black men fighting next to them. Those men later returned to a country that hated them. Don’t avoid the issue and try to make it about a flag or the military. Fight like your grandfathers for what’s right!”
His own teammate, Michael Thomas, said, “He don’t know no better.”
When I walked with protesters earlier this week in New York City, I was thanked more than once by black protesters for being there with them. They thanked me for using my white privilege. That didn’t make me unique as it was very much a multi-racial crowd. The only people who made me fear for my safety were the police. Black Americans need white Americans to use their white privilege to help them, especially people with loud voices like Drew Brees. Ending this nation’s racism helps all of us. We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines because the system isn’t coming after us.
Well, maybe Drew Brees can afford to since his net worth is estimated at $120 million. I guess when you’re extremely rich, white, and male then you can afford to not get it.
I spent the majority of my childhood and teen years in Louisiana cheering for the Saints. Nobody was happier or more excited than I was over the Saints’ Super Bowl victory. I cheered, rooted for, and respected Drew Brees. I have always been thankful for him. Now, I’m just disgusted. Drew, you make me sick.
Danielle, a friend of mine posted on one of my Facebook comments yesterday and said, “I live in Louisiana… currently in Baton Rouge, but 28 years in New Orleans.
Saints season ticket holder for a while until I could no longer justify the cost, as a public school teacher.
I was there when they beat Atlanta to reopen the Dome following ‘she who shall not be named’. I was there when they unfurled the Super Bowl champions banner at the start of the 2010-11 season. I literally danced on a cop car in the French Quarter after they won the NFC championship, and a cop held his hand out to help me down.
Michael Thomas was being diplomatic…. Drew *does* know better; he just chooses to not BE better.
Fuck Drew Brees.”
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