Trump Praises 'One of the Greatest Quarterbacks,' Rips Anthem Kneelers Again


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has become a lightning rod of criticism in recent days after he dared to speak out against the act of kneeling or otherwise protesting during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” the Saints signal-caller said in an interview with Yahoo.

Brees was responding to the possibility of the highly divisive national anthem protests, where players would raise a fist, sit or kneel, returning to the NFL amid the ongoing protests and riots after the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

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Given the current tension and hostility in the world, it was unsurprising that Brees was subjected to an avalanche of criticism from sports pundits and his fellow athletes.

From Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James to his own teammates to major media outlets, the quarterback was raked over the coals for his comments. It was enough of a maelstrom of controversy that the 41-year-old quarterback issued two apologies on Instagram.

“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused,” Brees said in a lengthy Instagram post Thursday.

A second post included a video in which said, “I know there’s not much I can say that would make things any better right now, but I just want you to see in my eyes how sorry I am for the comments that I made yesterday. I know that it hurt many people.”

Do you agree with Trump about always standing for the national anthem?

One person who needed no apology? The leader of the free world.

“I am a big fan of Drew Brees,” President Donald Trump said Friday on Twitter. “I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high …

“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!”

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Trump has long been a proponent of properly observing the national anthem. He came into a noted and very public feud with the NFL over anthem protests during the 2017-2018 season.

Since then, however, the league and the president have generally kept their distance from each other. Trump even offered the rare nicety to the NFL here and there.

The NFL national anthem protests began in 2016 when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem as a form of protest against social injustice and police brutality.

While some Kaepernick fans dislike the president because of his stance, Trump told the media in August 2019 that he’d “love to see” Kaepernick back in the NFL.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Phoenix, Arizona
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