After President Donald Trump criticized New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for apologizing for his comments about the American flag, Brees responded to Trump with a statement of his own.

To @realdonaldtrump

 

Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.

 

We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.

 

We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?

We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

- Drew Brees

Earlier this week, Brees appeared on Yahoo Finance and was asked how he would feel if players protested during the National Anthem next season. He shared the deep emotions he feels when he hears the National Anthem and sees the American flag, he added he'll never agree with someone "disrespecting" the flag.

The NFL players who have protested in the past by kneeling or sitting during the Anthem have consistently said they were not protesting the flag, but protesting police brutality and racial injustice.

In the wake of recent events and protests around the country, many current and former athletes were highly critical of Brees' comments, including his teammates.

Following a team meeting, Brees released a number of apologies and has now responded to President Trump's criticism.

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