The old adage of being between a rock and a hard place is the perfect metaphor for what NFL quarterback Drew Brees went through this past week.
Typically, in the metaphor, there is no answer – its just a statement or an observation.
But Drew Brees changed that with his multiple statements this past week related to the U.S. and Global movement taking place around Black Lives Matter. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Brees was asked about standing for the national anthem and how players who take a knee should react. Brees stated in part “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag….”
And then the outrage started. Brees was chastised by current teammates, former teammates, other current and former NFL players, politicians and frankly, anyone with a Twitter or Instagram account that disagreed with Brees.
Why did the outrage start?
Those who kneel during the anthem have stated its not about disrespecting the American flag or the anthem itself. It was a protest of social injustices and how minorities are treated. In fact, it has been widely stated that Colin Kaepernick, the dynamic former NFL quarterback who became the face of the kneeling movement in the NFL, got the idea to kneel during the anthem by former U.S. Green Beret and armed forces veteran Nate Boyer. Boyer stated that taking a knee would be a better option than sitting on the bench during the national anthem. Since his public stance, Kaepernick was essentially blackballed from the NFL and has not played, much less had the opportunity to play on any NFL team for the past four years. Fast forward four years to the events of this time.
After his initial statement, Drew Brees said he got it wrong.
Donald Trump didn’t take too kindly to Brees’ about face and stated as much on Twitter.
Brees responded in kind “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 never has been…”
After Brees commented, the NFL – via Commissioner Roger Goodell – said the following in response to the Black Lives Matter movement in a 174 word video statement ” We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
The peaceful protests around Black Lives Matter are taking place across the globe and going on two weeks strong.
From these protests, the NFL admitted it was wrong.
Drew Brees admitted he was wrong.
And isn’t getting it wrong, and realizing you got it wrong the way to get it right?
By Charles Zinkowski (email@example.com; @thisischarlesz)