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The Vilification of Drew Brees

The sources of information in the time of our founding parents were libraries filled with an endless ocean of books and documents. Never-ending, free-flowing fountains of knowledge, available to anyone with a library card. And they would dive into the waters, and come out refreshed and educated, writing books and papers themselves that continue to be studied by scholars, centuries after their authors have been laid to rest.

The modern version is nothing more than a puddle of stupidity and half-truths. A muddy hole of agenda and propaganda that millions can’t wait to drink from. Nothing symbolizes this reality more than the unfair vilification of the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. This is a story of misplaced hate and uninformed social warriors. Or maybe it’s a story for them so that they can better understand the man, the words, and the situation that the media used to make them dance like the mindless wooden puppets they are.

Brees’ words were incorrectly chosen, at the worst possible time, but they were not malicious in intent and were not designed to be divisive or polarizing in any way. In fact, the words in the headlines, or quick audio clips were just a few in a longer answer, that paints a clearer picture of his feelings on race and equality. To those who did not watch the full interview, or got their news from a headline, or worse, social media, shame on you.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”

This is the statement people know or heard. It has been painted to mean everything from Drew Brees does not want to help, to Drew Brees is a flat out racist. Neither could be further from the truth. In his complete answer about what we (America) should do, he goes on to explain what the flag means to him, and what the anthem means to him. First, it reminds him of his grandfathers, who both heroically served in World War 2. Second, he mentions it nearly brings him to tears, as it represents to him sacrifices made not just by military men and women, but by people who fought for civil rights and equality.

Many of the keyboard tough guys (and gals) that took to the internet, and some even insinuating, or stating outright that they hoped Drew and his family would die, never heard or saw that part of the interview. Instead, they pounded their chests and roared from their rooftops, proud of their ignorance and naivety.

It was not just the jersey burning maniacs that jumped to conclusions, based on partial information. Saints teammate Malcolm Jenkins took to Twitter to put his quarterback on blast. “You don’t know how hurtful, how insensitive your comments are.” he tweeted. Colleague Aaron Rodgers, who refused to kneel during the anthem in 2017 also hypocritically got in on the action, criticizing Brees for 15 words out of 2 paragraphs of answers.

Many found it easy to ignore the apology issued by Brees and his wife, saying “We are the problem.”

President Trump, no doubt equally uneducated fully on the topic, took to his favorite social media platform to tweet his support Brees. Drew would respond directly to the Commander in Chief, ”This is not an issue about the American flag. It never has been”

Brees continued to apologize and clarify directly to Trump, for all to see. “We can no longer use the American flag to turn people away, or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.”

So many forget that Brees arranged to kneel with teammates in protest during the 2017 NFL season, prior to the anthem being played. He did this in support of black communities, and to help draw attention to the issues they were facing. He was larger than life presence in the rebuilding of New Orleans after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. He has made donations in sums greater than most Americans will make in their lifetimes to charities and causes that affect all of us. The Brees Dream Foundation provides care and education for families in need and those affected by cancer.

The timing of his words was bad. The choice of words he chose was bad. But Drew Brees is not bad. He is a very good man, who cares about equality in our nation, and the health and well being of communities in and around New Orleans, and those that stretch far beyond. He is an American hero. And like all heroes who are human, he makes mistakes. None of us are perfect, and a whole lot of us would benefit from trying to be more like Drew Brees. He’s one of the good guys.

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