Drew Brees’ apology hasn’t convinced everyone, but two important voices in his own locker room have taken the Saints quarterback for his word.
A day after Brees said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” — drawing the ire of a wide range of athletes, including Saints star receiver Michael Thomas — the 41-year-old wrote an apology on Instagram for his “insensitive” comments.
“One of my brothers made a public statement yesterday that I disagreed with,” Thomas tweeted Thursday. “He apologized & I accept it because that’s what we are taught to do as Christians. Now back to the movement! #GeorgeFloyd.”
It was a contrast from Thomas’ tweets on Wednesday in the immediate aftermath of Brees’ interview with Yahoo Finance, which broached the subject of Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest social injustice and police brutality — the same issues that are still at the heart of protests across the country after George Floyd’s death.
“He don’t know no better,” Thomas tweeted Wednesday, adding, “We don’t care if you don’t agree and whoever else how about that.”
Brees on Thursday acknowledged that “I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. … I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.”
While ringing hollow for some athletes, Brees’ apology appeared to be a step in the right direction in the minds of his own teammates.
“I think that is a form of true leadership,” Saints linebacker Demario Davis 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.”