NEW ORLEANS — President Donald Trump said Friday that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees should not have apologized for his comments on "disrespecting the flag" by kneeling during the national anthem.
"I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he's truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag."
Brees apologized one day after reiterating his opposition to kneeling during the national anthem. The comments drew sharp criticism from high-profile athletes and others in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Since then, Brees has apologized twice and said his comments were "insensitive and completely missed the mark." His teammate and outspoken social justice advocate Demario Davis said in a TV interview that Brees' apology shows leadership and is a "model for America."
Trump weighed into the social media backlash on Friday.
"OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high. We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart," Trump wrote on Twitter. "There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag -- NO KNEELING!"
NFL players joined former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest police brutality against minorities - not the American flag - beginning in 2016.
Brees made his most recent comments during an interview with Yahoo! Sports in which he was asked to revisit Kaepernick's protest. Brees said that he supports people protesting police brutality but that the national anthem is not a proper forum.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.