Dhimmi Drew Brees Bends The Knee
Yesterday, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was asked by a journalist if he would be taking a knee during the National Anthem now. In the past, he has declined to. He said:
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”
Then boom! He became a Crescent City Hitler. The blowback from even his own teammates was intense. He had gone from being their beloved teammate to being their enemy, to judge by their comments.
And now, this from Brees:
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.
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. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.
This is where I stand:
I stand 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.
I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.
I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.
I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.
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 have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.
I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. 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.
That is incredibly dispiriting. If I were Brees, I would retire before allow anybody to bully me into saying something I didn’t believe, or apologizing for holding the flag with such admiration. Brees certainly doesn’t need the money.
I say that as someone who thinks people were wrong to crack on Colin Kaepernick for his kneeling at the National Anthem. Whether I liked him doing it or not, I respected his right to protest. I also respect Drew Brees’s right to keep standing. Now, though, we see that there is only one opinion allowed. If you disagree, then even people who have worked with you for years will call you a racist. Thus, even a very rich and famous athlete can be brought to heel overnight.
I despise this bullying, this coercion. Time to re-up this Les Murray poem:
by Les Murray
No. Not from me. Never.
Not a step in your march.
not a vowel in your unison,
bray that shifts to bay.
Banners sailing a street river,
power in advance of a vote,
go choke on these quatrain tablets.
I grant you no claim ever,
not if you pushed the Christ Child
as President of Rock Candy Mountain
or yowled for the found Elixir
would your caste expectations snare me.
Superhuman with accusation,
you would conscript me to a world
of people spat on, people hiding
ahead of oncoming poetry.
Whatever class is your screen
I’m from several lower,
To your rigged fashions, I’m pariah.
Nothing a mob does is clean,
not at first, not when slowed to a media,
not when police. The first demos I saw,
before placards, were against me,
alone, for two years, with chants,
every day, with half-conciliatory
needling in between, and aloof
moral cowardice holding skirts away.
I learned your world order then.