Brees said that respecting the anthem does not only mean showing respect for the military, but also for all those who sacrificed themselves for this country, including those of the civil rights movement.
“And is everything all right with our country right now? No, it isn’t,” Brees said in the interview. “We still have a long way to go. But I think of what you do by staying there and showing respect for the flag with your hand on your heart, if it shows unity. Show that we are all in this together, we can all do better, and that we are all part of the solution. “
“You still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee ??” James said in a tweet, referring to Colin Kaepernick. “It has absolutely nothing to do with the disrespect of (the flag of the United States) and our soldiers.”
James continued to argue about his father-in-law who was in the army, saying that he had never found Kaepernick – who had notoriously knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality – disrespectful “because we both know what’s right is right and what is wrong is wrong! “
Later, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke, although he did not refer to Brees or his comments.
Black players represent around 70% of the NFL. In 2018, the NFL passed a policy to administer players who knelt during the anthem, made to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the United States. The punishment associated with the policy was later canceled, although the policy itself remained.