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Drew Brees on potential return of NFL kneeling protests: 'I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag'

As social justice protests happen across the country over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the sports world has taken note. Scores of athletes are speaking out on social media in support of the protests, and many have joined protests in person.

As the NFL gears up for its 2020 season, which it hopes to start on time despite the coronavirus pandemic, many onlookers expect to see players kneel again during the national anthem to continue the police brutality protests that Colin Kaepernick started back in 2016.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, long seen as a leader in the league, posted a black square to his Instagram account on Tuesday for #BlackOutTuesday, and posted again on Wednesday, saying in part, “There is a saying in every locker room I have been in... Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Acknowledge the problem, and accept the fact that we all have a responsibility to make it better.”

But Brees does not support the idea of the kneeling protests returning.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America,” Brees said.

Both of Brees’ grandfathers fought for the U.S. military in WWII, he added. “So every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about… thinking about all that has been sacrificed, not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movement of the 60s. And all that has been endured by so many people. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better, and we are all part of the solution.”

Brees has indicated the same feelings about the anthem protests in the past. In 2016, he said he supported Kaepernick’s right to protest, but disagreed with the method of the protest, because the American flag is “sacred.”

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Xavier Rhodes #29 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Xavier Rhodes #29 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, the response to the George Floyd protests from various factions of the NFL—players, coaches, and teams—has varied.

L.A. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn wrote an op-ed in the L.A. Times, saying, “I’m pissed off and I don’t want to just put out a pretty statement.” The San Francisco 49ers tweeted out a black square and added #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackOutTuesday, but many called it disingenuous. Former San Francisco 49er Eric Reid retweeted it and said, “I think you meant Blackball Tuesday.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also received blowback after he said, “The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country... As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society." Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills said in response, “Save the bulls**t.”

NBC News summed it all up in a column headlined, “George Floyd protests and Colin Kaepernick are related. But the NFL doesn’t really know why.”

If and when the NFL returns to play this fall, it is likely to be with no fans in arenas at first.

“I think that we will more than likely play our season,” Brees said. “Whether we have fans or not, I think that’s yet to be determined. Could that be a phased approach as we go through the season, maybe no fans to partial fans to full fans? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but the bottom line is we’ll be ready to play football games come August, September.”


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NFL is full of cowards. Kap is better off not playing with these fuckers.


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NFL fans appear to boo Chiefs, Texans players during moment of unity before coin toss
The moment was part of the players' attempt to raise awareness on social justice issues
By Ryan Gaydos | Fox News

NFL kicks off new season amid COVID pandemic and focus on racial issues
The 2020 season will be shaped as much by the summer's unrest as it is by the coronavirus pandemic; Kevin Corke reports.
NFL fans who were able to attend the opening game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans to start the 2020 season on Thursday appeared to boo the teams’ moment of unity at midfield prior to the coin toss.

Both teams lined up in the middle of the field after the national anthem and locked arms briefly before shaking hands to get ready for the coin toss. Fans on social media noticed that the limited number of fans who were in attendance appeared to let their own voices be heard during the moment.

Those watching through the prism of social media were apparently bewildered by the reaction.

Chiefs players were on the field for the playing of the national anthem and the rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Texans players were not on the field for either song.
Most Chiefs players stood, locking arms on the sideline for the national anthem. At least one Chiefs player knelt and raised a fist. Players locked arm-and-arm across the goal line for the Black national anthem.
Texans players were not on the field for either “The Star-Spangled Banner” or the Black national anthem.

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" will be played before each game during the first week of the season as part of the NFL's efforts on social justice issues Chiefs players locked arm-in-arm in the end zone as the song played. The team went into the locker room after the rendition was over.


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It seemed like people starting booing, and then some started cheering to drown them out

I would have liked to have heard it with 80,000 people

Glad they're discussing it on First Take

Glad their idol JJ Watt brought it up

Dr. Truth

GOD to all Women
BGOL Investor
Hey N words dance and entertain us we don’t care about your struggles and rights it’s all about white white white fragility and keeping us happy. Go on boys dance for me I spent $100 to watch you dance!! All them niggas should have walked off the field when they booed. Fucking coons. Even soccer players walked off