Drew Brees’ apology rings hollow for some athletes


Drew Brees’ effort at damage control has missed the mark for some. The Saints’ star quarterback tried to walk back his controversial Wednesday comments — in which he said he would never support players who kneeled during the national anthem — writing on Instagram that he is not the enemy and “it breaks my heart to know the pain I caused.”

But it wasn’t nearly enough for players like Tobias Harris of the 76ers and Giants safety Jabrill Peppers.

“Nah, we heard you the first time,” Peppers, an African-American from New Jersey, tweeted.

“Take this for what it is, if you’re trying to issue an apology, a press release is not the route.” Harris tweeted. “Take your ass on camera and apologize. Then go take some actions forward to show us/yourself that you actually are sorry. Morning @drewbrees.”

Podcast host Jody Avirgan pointed out the photo Brees posted was a stock photo labeled “handshake against racism.”

Drew Brees apology kneeling
Drew BreesGetty Images

One of his Saints teammates, linebacker Demario Davis, was more gracious.

“I think that is a form of true leadership,” he said on CNN. “That’s taking ownership. What we had hoped the first time was that Drew would elaborate more on racism and the sentiments of the black community. He admitted he missed the mark. For him to come out and say ‘I missed the mark, I’ve been insensitive but what I’m going to start doing is listening and learning from the black community and finding ways that I can help them.’ I think that’s a model for all of America. . . . For him to admit that he was wrong and say I can do better and I will do better. I think that is leadership at its finest.”

On Wednesday, Brees drew backlash for telling Yahoo Finance he would never agree with anyone disrespecting the American flag when asked about players protesting police brutality and racial inequality at a time protests and looting have broken out across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.



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