Drew Brees’ comments on kneeling during national anthem spark widespread backlash from fellow athletes

When New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees responded to a question about the NFL's response to players potentially kneeling once again this season to protest racial injustice and police brutality – as Colin Kaepernick and others have done, starting in 2016 – he probably didn't expect the reaction on social media to resemble an all-out blitz. 

But as Brees turned the question into a debate about patriotism and the national anthem, saying he will "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America," the reaction from fellow athletes was almost universally negative.

NBA star LeBron James retweeted a snippet of the interview with Yahoo Finance and criticized Brees for missing the point of Kaepernick's protest and the civil unrest that's currently taking place.

WOW MAN!! 🤦🏾‍♂️. Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of 🇺🇸 and our soldiers(men and women) who keep our land free. My father-in-law was one of those https://t.co/pvUWPmh4s8

Though they didn't mention Brees by name, New Orleans Saints teammates, such as running back Alvin Kamara ("oop…") and wide receiver Michael Thomas ("He don't know no better") both seemed to express their disapproval.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs retweeted the interview with a facepalm emoji and the words "… This ain't it."

Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Darius Slay: "Damn, Drew hurt me with that one!!"

And San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman posted a commentary of his own, calling Brees "beyond lost."

He’s beyond lost. Guarantee you there were black men fighting along side your grandfather but this doesn’t seem to be about that. That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem https://t.co/ON81UsOWPwpic.twitter.com/HH3EVTIH8p

Roughly four hours after his comments were posted on social media, neither Brees nor the Saints had issued any public comment.

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