Why Drew Brees comments are so problematic

By Elijah Cooper

I know, I know. Another article about racism. You’d think people would get it by now right? Weeeelllll not quite yet. There’s issues at hand that we’re not discussing. Shoutout to Drake. And that new issue we need to discuss is highlighted by the comments made by Drew Brees. We have some pretenders amongst us that need to be addressed. For those who haven’t heard yet, Drew Brees was asked about kneeling during the anthem when the NFL season began. Drew took that opportunity to denounce that form of protest and went on to rant about how the flag represented his grandfathers who fought for this country. Well, Drew that’s all fine and dandy, but you still badly miss the point. Is Drew aware of how that story finished for black soldiers? You know the ones who also fought in WWII, but came home and were racially profiled and abused by white people who’s “freedom” they fought for. Of course he’s not aware. Because even though he posted a black picture on IG for blackout Tuesday, he still doesn’t get what it means to be an ally.

So let me just make it very clear what a true ally to the black community looks like. Step one, open up your mind and try to look at this situation from the black point of view. Understand we have soldiers who fought too, only to come home and have their rights and the rights of their people violated. To find that “freedom and justice for all” doesn’t apply to them. Step two, after you get a glimpse of what we are dealing with, understand that it is not your place to tell us how to express our frustration with the oppression we have had to live through. Don’t tell us how to protest. Don’t tell us we have to stand for a flag that to us, has represented 400 years of slavery and oppression. The third and final step is to support us in every way possible. That includes financially, signing petitions, protesting, and denouncing racism when you see it. That is what a true ally looks like. Anyone who is doing anything else is a fraud. They are following the trend so they don’t look like a racist. Be wary of the people who were All lives matter and Trump supporters just 4 years ago (and probably a week ago, and possibly still one).

Now we’ve gotten two apologies from Mr. Brees, and I’m here to tell you they’re both crap. First of all, he made these exact same comments 4 years ago and didn’t apologize then. That’s because at the time, he didn’t get the backlash he got this time, so clearly he meant that. Second of all, the very first time you speak on this subject at this point, is how you truly feel. We’ve heard your heart, we felt how much you meant that. No amount of apologizing will fix that. And third, we’ve seen you buddy buddy with Trump at sporting events Drew. We know what side you on, so save it.

The entire NFL is full of pretenders as far as the franchises go. It’s shocking to me that I saw 32 teams tweet for blackout Tuesday when not so long ago, they effectively blackballed the guy who took a knee during the anthem to tell you exactly what we’re still telling you. So what changed? Public perception. That’s it. And now these franchises are trying to save face. Why don’t you guys start with signing Colin Kaepernick to a fair contract before you even think about trying to be an ally.

Now let me be clear, Drew Brees and the rest of the NFL are far from the only pretenders here. There are A LOT of them now because of how quickly the reception of this movement has changed since the death of George Floyd. I’ve seen people I debated tooth and nail with 4 years ago, get on social media this week and post as allies. And for those who truly had a change of heart, thank you for understanding finally. For those of you who are riding the trend and staying hidden, just know that we know how to weed you out.

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