Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said Thursday that New Orleans Saints‘ Drew Brees “can’t be afraid to say that” after the quarterback’s comments this week on protesting during the national anthem.
On Wednesday, Brees said that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” but he issued an apology Thursday morning on Instagram after he received backlash.
Dungy said on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he doesn’t “downgrade Drew for that” because “he may not totally understand.”
“It may have been not exactly the way he wanted to express it, but he can’t be afraid to say that, and we can’t be afraid to say, ‘OK Drew, I don’t agree with you, but let’s talk about this, and let’s sit down and talk about it,’” Dungy said.
“We can’t just say anytime something happens that we don’t agree with, ‘Hey, I’m done with that and I’m done with this person,’ and that doesn’t make sense,” Dungy added. “We have to be better than that. This battle is not gonna be won by demonstrating and throwing bricks through windows. It’s not gonna be won by the government saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna bring out these weapons and dominate the streets again.’ That is not gonna fix anything.”
Other athletes across the sports world shared their thoughts about Brees’ remarks, including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman and former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, among others.
He also received backlash from several teammates, including Saints wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and running back Alvin Kamara.