LONDON- Saints quarterback Drew Brees said on Wednesday that he supports the players who protested but said he hopes the team can get together to do something that shows both unity and respect for the flag.
Both Brees and defensive end Cameron Jordan, one of the Saints who sat during the anthem, talked at length about the issue to reporters in London.
Jordan said that he believes the protests do not demonstrate disrespect.
“I feel that in this kneeling, in this whatever, we still pay homage to our flag, we still pay homage to our people, we still respect our troops. We love everything about our country. And it’s because we love our country we have the ability to a knee,” Jordan said.
Brees said that he believes the protests were spurred by President Trump’s comments.
“I think what you saw last weekend especially was a direct result of the comments that the president made, President Trump. Unfortunately, I think he put all athletes, black athletes, minority athletes, he put them in a corner and forced them to take action. So that was unfortunate that he made the comments that he made,” Brees said.
“I don’t blame the guys for feeling like they needed to do something as a reaction to that,” Brees said.
Jordan said that the protests do not take away the players’ pride for their country.
“We are Americans. It’s not ever going to deter us from the fact that we respect our flag that we love being American. It only gives us more pride to say, ‘Hey this is the day and age where I can show and demonstrate something what’s on my mind and what’s on my heart and prove this to the world that this is an important topic to pay attention to,” Jordan said.