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Brees’ anthem comments draw backlash from teammates, others

Sports

FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) smiles after defeating the Indianapolis Colts 34-7 in an NFL football game in New Orleans. A person familiar with the situation says the Saints and record-setting quarterback Drew Brees have agreed on a two-year, $50 million contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, because the deal has not been announced. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, Fle)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees is being sharply criticized by fellow high-profile athletes, including some of his own teammates, after the Saints quarterback reiterated his opposition to kneeling during the national anthem.

Asked by Yahoo to revisit former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 kneeling protest against police brutality against minorities, Brees said he will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States. He added that the national anthem reminds him of two grandfathers who served in the armed forces during World War II.

Brees said that “In many cases, it brings me to tears thinking about all that has been sacrificed, and not just in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the Civil Rights movements of the ’60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point.”

Critical responses to Brees’ statements appeared on social media from major professional athletes including the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins.

Jenkins was Brees’ teammate when the Saints won the Super Bowl in the 2009 season.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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