LeBron James was shocked by Drew Brees saying he couldn’t support Colin Kaepernick or any other NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. After a massive backlash, the QB apologized for ‘missing the mark.’
“WOW MAN!! [facepalm emoji],” tweeted LeBron James, 35, on June 3 while sharing a clip of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’s interview with Yahoo! Finance. In the interview, Drew, 41, was asked if the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and other black men and women killed by the police would trigger another round of Colin Kaepernick-inspired national anthem protests. Drew said he could never “agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” a statement that left LeBron James’s jaw on the floor. “Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee??” tweeted the NBA Champ.
“[The kneeling] Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of 🇺🇸 and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free,” added LeBron. “My father-in-law was one of those men who fought as well for this country. I asked him a question about it and thank him all the time for his commitment. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong! God bless you.”
men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitement. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong! God bless you. 🙏🏾✊🏾👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 3, 2020
Drew cited his “two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II — one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps — both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place” as the reason why he couldn’t support the protests. Kaepernick made it clear from day one that the protests were about systemic racism, oppression, and police brutality. Almost immediately, Drew’s comments triggered a wave of backlash. A “F-ck Drew Brees” chant broke out during a New Orleans protest, and many NFL stars — including Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, and Drew’s teammate Malcolm Jenkins, who said he was “hurt” by Brees’ comments, per ESPN. This resulted in the NFL star issuing an apology on June 4.
“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community, and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused,” he said in a lengthy statement posted to his Instagram. “In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.”
Drew added that he stood with the “black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.” He admitted that Americans “have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community,” and that he bore full responsibility and accountability for his words. “. 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. For that, I am very sorry, and I ask your forgiveness.”