President Trump: Drew Brees “should not have taken back his original stance”
Last Updated: 06/06/20 12:33am
Donald Trump has once again criticised protesters who kneel during the national anthem and says NFL quarterback Drew Brees should not be sorry for calling it “disrespectful”.
Brees has apologised for saying he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag,” referring to players kneeling in a pose has become a symbol of the fight for racial justice in the United States.
He said his words “lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy”.
But the US president tweeted on Friday that Brees “should not have taken back his original stance”.
…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!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart,” Trump wrote. “There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!”
The kneeling pose has been seen at protests against police brutality in cities across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis.
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularised the move in 2016 while he was on the San Francisco 49ers roster, appearing on NFL sidelines first sitting, and later kneeling, during the customary pre-game airing of the US national anthem.
Trump was an early critic of the protest, and in 2017 vice president Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game between the 49ers and the Indianapolis Colts when some of the players knelt on the sidelines during the anthem.
James said kneeling during the anthem “has absolutely nothing to do with the disrespect of [America] and our soldiers”, while Thomas – who did not specifically name Brees – posted: “He don’t know no better” followed by “we don’t care if you don’t agree and whoever else how about that”.
Trump’s comments come after Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Michael Thomas were among more than a dozen NFL stars who have united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.
The 70-second video was released on social media platforms on Thursday night and also includes Odell Beckham Jr, Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, and Stephon Gilmore.
It is followed by their message to the NFL: “We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit.”
The NFL posted its own message on Thursday saying they stand with the black community and they know they can and need to do more.