New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has become the latest victim of President Donald Trump’s wrath. It all began on Wednesday, June 3, when Brees made a statement about how he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our Country.” Brees was referencing to how several athletes followed the footsteps of football player Colin Kaepernick, who protested against the racial injustice by kneeling down during the national anthem at the beginning of the game. Following the death of George Floyd, several athletes began posting pictures of themselves kneeling in protest of Floyd’s killing and drawing attention to the police brutality.
Brees, however, didn’t seem to approve of his fellow athletes’ actions and made the controversial statement. He was immediately slammed for being insensitive, which led to the NFL player issuing an apology for hurting people with his insensitive remarks. When Trump got the whiff of Brees’s apology, he was unhappy with the NFL player flip-flopping on his initial stance against kneeling down during the national anthem as a sign of disrespect to the country. Trump took to his Twitter to express his unhappiness. He tweeted, “I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high…” In an another tweet, he added, “…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!”
When people saw Trump raging against kneeling, they slammed him for protesting against the disrespect towards the “Great American Flag” instead of the rampant racial injustice. A user tweeted, “No kneeling? Perhaps the kneeling for a piece of fabric will stop when black folks don’t have to worry about someone kneeling on their tracheae.” Another user wrote, “No one is protesting the flag. No one is protesting the national anthem. The fact that you don’t understand that players kneel on the ball field because cops are still kneeling on black people’s f***ing necks is infuriating and also not surprising in the least. Go f**k yourself.”
Another user expressed, “Watch what DJT does, not what he says. He only supports the 1st amendment when he thinks it benefits HIM. #NoKneeling? That’s not FREEDOM, that’s authoritarianism. AGAIN, it was NEVER ABOUT THE FLAG. There are good & bad cops; even so, we need #PoliceReformNow!” “HE AMERICAN FLAG MEANS NOTHING IF WE ARE NOT ALL FREE & EQUAL WITH RIGHTS WHICH INCLUDE PEACEFUL PROTEST! READ THE CONSTITUTION DONALD!” shared a user. Another user pointed out, “Here’s the thing about our great country. Nobody gets to DICTATE how we honor the flag. You don’t get an award for your posture or the position of your hand. People who love this country are taking a knee to fight injustice and brutality. THEY are patriots fighting for others.”