The recent comment made by NFL player, Drew Brees has stirred controversy and attracted immense criticism. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, racism has become a sensitive issue around this time. Keeping in mind these aspects, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley had a chat with Ernie Johnson on NBA on TNT.
Colin Kaepernick was another NFL player known for kneeling down during the national anthem in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial discrimination. When Drew was asked if they will do so this time as well, he bluntly replied, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag.”
Drew Brees offends many with his statement
That statement made all the difference. It made many furious, and his fans also turned against him. That one line took a toll on him.
Post the original statement, LeBron James gave a brutal reply to Drew’s comment lately. The New Orleans Saints quarterback apologized at length after that.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 5, 2020
Others feel Brees made a mistake
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal seemed to accept his apology and clearly mentioned, “Drew Brees made a mistake.” Moreover, they both believe that a flag has different meaning to everyone and the heavy criticism was toxic. The two abide by support against racial injustice but lashed at those who turned it so ugly against the NFL star.
“Drew’s original statement I thought was very insensitive, especially during this time.” Barkley told Ernie. But he also believed that it was a ‘mistake’. “Drew Brees made a mistake…The level of vitriol, anger, and things like that was overkill,” he added. “The way he (Drew) was portrayed on television and radio today was not fair at all.”
Former Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal told ‘Inside the NBA’ crew how Drew’s teammates also forgave him. But one thing they did advise him was, “do more positive things and less talking.” Irrespective of his team players, Shaq did agree with Charles that Drew made a mistake. “I know Drew Brees, he’s not a racist.”
Unlike the two NBA players, sports commentator, Kenny Smith felt ‘offended’ by Drew Brees’s statement. He was furious with that reaction. Kenny didn’t refrain from mentioning that Drew was using his ‘white privilege’ to make such remarks.
“I was very offended by what he said… I looked at it as the definition of what we call ‘white privilege’,” Kenny said.
“It made it worse that it was Drew Brees, someone who we cheer for, who has teammates like us, that didn’t get us,” Smith added. “Someone who is in the locker room every day. He doesn’t have the same excuse others may have had.”
Kenny was furious, like many, and added that Brees’ comments were “offensive.”
“Someone we cheered for is using his white privilege to say he couldn’t understand what we were going through in that moment. That was very offensive to me.”