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Shooting the Brees: Popular NFL Star Flagged for Holding Firm on Opinion Against Kneeling During National Anthem

Brett Davis

Posted on June 7, 2020 09:33

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Identity politics orthodoxy claims another scalp.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. 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 Corps, both risking their lives to protect our country.”

With those words uttered last week during the course of an interview with Yahoo! Finance, beloved New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees ran afoul of the identity politics crowd for deigning to be critical of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 started taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.

After Brees’s comments became public, a who’s who of fellow professional athletes rhetorically sacked the Super Bowl XLIV-winning (2010) quarterback who has played for the Saints for nearly two decades, establishing a reputation not only as a great football player, but also a great human being.

That counts for nothing to NBA star LeBron James, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, MMA fighter Daniel Cormier — among others — who lit into the future Hall of Famer, deriding him for an alleged failure to “understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee,” “beyond lost” and “disappointing.”

The harshest criticism came from teammate Malcom Jenkins, who posted a video calling Brees “part of the problem” and telling him to “shut the f—k up” on Instagram before deleting it. He then posted another video within the hour where he again called Brees “a part of the problem.”

The protests, looting and rioting over the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white now-former Minneapolis police officer no doubt has people on edge, but even that doesn’t begin to explain the vitriol directed at Brees for what he actually said.

The sentiment expressed by Brees — that kneeling during the national anthem is not a form of protesting with which he agrees — is shared by a large portion of the country, as evidenced by Kaepernick’s protests being a factor in declining TV ratings and lower attendance at games.

Note what Brees didn’t say: he didn’t condemn Kaepernick’s protesting per se. It’s a safe assumption Brees thinks taking a stand — no pun intended — against police brutality is a worthy endeavor. Likewise, Brees made no issue of the fact Kaepernick dragged the NFL into his cause by protesting on the clock, as it were. He didn’t lecture others on how they should protest. In other words, Brees, based on his sense of patriotism, only took issue with the way Kaepernick protested. 

Not that anyone would know that based on the out-of-proportion blowback Brees got for not toeing the progressive party line on the topic.

Epilogue: Naturally, Brees ended up bending the knee — pun intended — at the altar of identity politics in the form of a fruitless apology (or two) that has now become a perfunctory act of penance in 2020 America. 

Brett Davis

Posted on June 7, 2020 09:33

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Source: Yahoo Sports
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