Malcolm Jenkins may have had the sharpest rebuke of Brees’ comments. The New Orleans Saints safety and political activist shared critical words for his teammate in an emotional video Wednesday afternoon.
What Brees said
Brees told Yahoo Finance Wednesday that he doesn’t want to see players kneeling during the national anthem.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said in an interview with Daniel Roberts. “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.”
Brees then talked about what the flag means to him while mentioning his grandfathers fighting in wars.
LeBron James, Richard Sherman and Michael Thomas joined an outpouring of criticism for the New Orleans Saints quarterback whose comments condemning players for kneeling carries extra weight in the midst of the national crisis sparked by the homicide of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police.
None were quite as blunt as Jenkins, who posted a video telling Brees to “shut the f— up” on Instagram. The founding member of the Players Coalition and vocal black rights advocate has frequently pushed back against the faulty narrative that Colin Kaepernick’s protest targeted patriotism and the military instead police brutality and social injustice.
He wasn’t hearing it from Brees in the midst of a national referendum on race relations.
“Our communities are under siege, and we need help,” Jenkins said while pushing back tears. “And what you’re telling us is don’t ask for help that way. Ask a different way. I can’t listen to it when you ask that way.
“We’re done asking, Drew. People who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves — are the problem. And it’s unfortunate, because I considered you a friend. I looked up to you. You’re somebody who I had a great deal of respect for. But sometimes, you should shut the f— up.”
Jenkins deletes, posts new video
Jenkins initially posted the video on Instagram before deleting it. He then posted another video within the hour where he again called Brees “a part of the problem.”
He wrote that he decided to post the second video after having a conversation with Brees.
“Drew Brees. If you don’t understand how hurtful, how insensitive your comments are, you are part of the problem,” Jenkins said. “To think that because your grandfathers served in this country and you have a great respect for the flag, that everybody else should have the same ideals and thoughts that you do is ridiculous.
“And it shows that you don’t know history. Because when our grandfathers fought for this country and served, and they came back, they didn’t come back to a hero’s welcome. They came back and got attacked for wearing their uniforms. They came back to people, to racism, to complete violence.”
Jenkins then criticized Brees for calling out a peaceful protest in the middle of the George Floyd crisis that’s seen peaceful and violent protests break out in cities nationwide on a nightly basis.
Other Saints players call out Brees
Jenkins, an 11-year NFL veteran, joined the Saints in the offseason after six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He wasn’t Brees’ only teammate to condemn his words on Wednesday.
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