Drew Brees and Donald Trump have gone back and forth this week on a divisive issue.
After receiving significant criticism from teammates, opponents, and the general public for his stance, Brees apologized on Instagram to those he may have offended, saying his comments were insensitive. He wrote: “I’m sorry it has taken this long to act and to participate in a meaningful way but I am your ally in this fight.”
President Trump took umbrage with Brees’s revised viewpoint, writing in a series of tweets: “he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag.”
Trump made it clear he still doesn’t condone kneeling during the national anthem, a polarizing form of protest that began when Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016 and is still widely discussed and debated today.
…We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
Brees then wrote Trump a letter on social media, responding that he believes this is “not an issue about the American flag.” He said the flag shouldn’t be used as a means of turning people away or distracting them from real issues that face Black communities.
“We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week,” Brees wrote Friday night. “We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”