In the hours following a wave of public backlash over his stance against kneeling during the national anthem, Drew Brees issued an apology that has received mixed reactions throughout the league.
During an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Brees said he would never agree with players protesting during the national anthem.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
His remarks were promptly met with backlash and Brees issued an apology less than a day later.
“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 wrote.
“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. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy.”
But Brees’ lengthy apology and commitment to “stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice” seemed too little too late for some, and disingenuous to others.
But Brees’ teammates appeared willing to accept Brees’ apology and willingness to move forward.
Teammate Malcolm Jenkins, who first posted a video to Instagram ripping Brees, has yet to publicly comment on his apology.