comScore

WATCH LIVE: WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING WITH KAYLEIGH McENANY

Drew Brees Directly Responds to Trump, Calls Out ‘Systemic Racial Injustice’ in Instagram Post: ‘We Must Stop Talking About the Flag’

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees

Photo credit: Sean Gardner, Getty Images.

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees directly responded to President Donald Trump on Instagram Friday night, calling out “systematic racial injustice” and waving off the distraction of kneeling protests during the national anthem at NFL games.

Brees’ response came just hours after Trump couldn’t resist weighing in on Brees’ comments from earlier in the week about his opposition to “disrespecting the flag” through kneeling protests, which earned widespread condemnation from other sports figures. Brees subsequently apologized and said he stands with the black community. Trump, however, slammed the Saints QB’s change of heart with a Twitter post that closed with an all-caps: “NO KNEELING.”

In his post on Instagram, with “To President Trump” text over a stark white background, Brees said that he has realized that this is “not an issue about the American flag.”

“We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities,” Brees added. “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?”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

To @realdonaldtrump Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. 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? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

Brees’ Friday night post came just hours after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a stunning apology on behalf of the league, acknowledging that it had failed to fully grasp the crisis of systemic racism. (Goodell, however, failed to mention the name of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers WB that began kneeling during the National Anthem to quietly protest racism and policy brutality.)

Brees closed his post with a not-so-subtle plea for Trump to take action.

“We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities,” Brees wrote. “We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.”

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under: