New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has had himself a rollercoaster week. At a time in which so much of the nation is rallying around the cause of racial equality, he caught criticism for stating that athletes kneeling during the national anthem for any reason disrespects the American flag. The signal-caller delivered two different apologies a day later, and even rejected President Donald Trump’s ostensibly supportive statement in regards to insisting all players stand for the anthem.
On Saturday, Brees’ wife, Brittany, shared an emotional Instagram post on the Brees Dream Foundation’s official account to speak on the controversy the family has faced these past few days.
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WE ARE THE PROBLEM . I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts. I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times 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.. 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 . 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. 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 notion‘s of what that flag means to us. 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. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt …we will do better.. We want to do better , 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 are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry ?? -Brittany Brees
A post shared by Brees Dream Foundation (@breesdreamfoundation) on
Brittany Brees mentions the couple had received death threats and hateful messages after the quarterback’s initial comments. It wasn’t until after Brees made the anti-kneeling statement until she realized they weren’t voicing sufficient sensitivity toward the plight of African Americans due to systemic oppression and police brutality.
She says that this is part of the problem that white America has to face. They can say they’re not prejudiced against other races, but it’s the fact they weren’t listening to the reasons why NFL players and other individuals were taking a knee during the anthem. Additionally, they weren’t actively looking for cases of racial injustice, and instead chose to sit in silence because they themselves “checked the boxes” of not being a racist.
NEW | “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…”
The latest statement in the Drew Brees protest comments saga is from Brittany Brees, Drew’s wife: https://t.co/fGV16iulyC
— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) June 6, 2020
Brittany concludes by stating she and her husband will be better. They’ll listen and educate themselves on racial inequality and police brutality, and will fight alongside the black community to ensure they receive basic human rights.
The Brees family is taking a step in the right direction, but their true test is to let their actions speak louder than their words.