President Donald Trump slammed NFL quarterback Drew Brees for bending his knee to the mob and apologizing—twice—for defending the American flag.
Breescourted widespread condemnation earlier this week when he said that the Black Lives Matter protests didn’t justify kneeling during the national anthem—and act made popular by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
“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… [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!”
Trump reiterated his remarks during an appearance at the town of Guilford, Maine, during a tour of the Puritan Medical Products factory that produces medical swabs used in coronavirus testing.
The President’s Friday comments were made following Brees’ apologies for his initial response to questions about kneeling during the national anthem. On Tuesday, Brees was asked what his position was on the possibility that NFL players would follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps by kneeling for the anthem.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” he said.
Following a public backlash, Brees apologized for his remarks on Instagram on Wednesday, and followed it up with a second apology on Thursday.
“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,” he wrote. “In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.”
Unlike Brees, Trump has publicly condemned the riots, and has promised a return to normalcy as the “law and order president.”