Wendell Pierce Responds To Drew Brees' Tone-Deaf' Comments On Kneeling

Source: John Phillips / Getty

Add New Orleans native and die-hard Saints fan, actor Wendell Pierce to list of people not feeling Drew Brees at the moment.

 

Drew Brees really stepped in it yesterday (Jun.4) during an interview on Yahoo’s On The Move show. The New Orleans Saints’ quarterback was asked about the kneeling protest started by Colin Kaepernick coming back to the NFL in light of the protests going on across the country. Sadly he gave this bonehead answer: “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

Brees’ answer to the question earned him reactions from LeBron James, Richard Sherman, and even his own teammate Malcolm Jenkins.

Now, New Orleans native and life-long Saints fan, Wendell Pierce responded to him educated Brees on why his statements were incredibly tone-deaf.

To Drew Brees, my 95yr old father fought in WWII at Saipan, risking his life for the United States of America, a country that had little respect for him. When he returned to New Orleans, he was denied his right to vote, his right to live where he wanted & most of his civil rights. My father risked his life for the US Constitution that was written without even considering him a human being until many Americans lost their lives to change it. To protect the 1st Amendment right to protest. Even then, my father returned to New Orleans, greeted by segregation.

“My father, who fought for your freedom, Drew Brees had to navigate racial violence in New Orleans as civil rights protesters were beaten by many who stand for our flag as they sat at the Woolworth lunch counter… blocks from the Superdome. My father fought for the flag you respect, when that flag flew over New Orleans City Hall when a Christian preacher by the name of Rev. Avery Alexander was dragged down the steps of City Hall because n—— were not allowed in its segregated cafeteria. … A Christian like you. My father is a patriot that stood up and risked his life for the American flag so Americans can kneel down in protest when its raised. Are you saying he disrespects it? He loves this country that seldom loved him in his 95 years. That’s living the life of Christian forgiveness.

“My father returned home after fighting in WWII & started a family. As his youngest son, he taught me to love the country that America could be…. but had not become yet. He taught me to fight for that America of liberty and justice for all. Never lose the ability to be offended. My father fought in the Double V campaign, victory abroad & victory at home. We won victory over fascism abroad, but we’re still fighting racism at home. Drew Brees my father cheers for you every Sunday, I hope you cheer for him as he takes a knee for the flag he nearly died for.”

Following the backlash, Drew Brees has since issued an apology saying in an Instagram post, “I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on issues we are facing.”

View this post on Instagram

I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

Drew Brees has a lot of work to do fixing this, the apology is a start, but it’s not going to be enough.

Photo: John Phillips / Getty

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