From so many sides Wednesday, Drew Brees was getting ripped. It has to be the most hurtful from his own, though.
Malcolm Jenkins, a Saints teammates of Brees’ from 2009-13 and again after signing this offseason with New Orleans, shredded the quarterback he “considered” — past tense — a friend after Brees again conflated the protests during the national anthem — which have been a peaceful movement against police brutality — with disrespecting the US troops.
After Brees said on a Yahoo Finance Zoom that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in the custody of police following a Minneapolis officer kneeling on his neck for over eight minutes, the floodgates were open.
Jenkins, one of the leaders of the Players Coalition, which onetime allies like Eric Reid found too soft, posted two videos directed toward Brees, sandwiched by a private conversation with Brees. His first, which was deleted, was harsher; his second, following that conversation with his QB, both emotional and unforgiving.
In the first video, which was captured below, includes Jenkins saying: “Our communities are under siege and we need help. And what you’re telling us is, ‘Don’t ask for help that way. Ask for it a different way. I can’t listen to it when you ask that way.’
“We’re done asking, Drew, and people who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves are the problem.
“It’s unfortunate because I considered you a friend, I looked up to you, you’re somebody who I had a great deal of respect for, but sometimes you should shut the f–k up.”
. @MalcolmJenkins had some strong words for @drewbrees after Drew comes out with his views on knelling during the National Athem. If this doesn’t say it perfectly, idk what does. Forever an Eagle. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/lQeDWjg8N4
— Drew (@DrewTooSavvy) June 3, 2020
After talking with Brees, Jenkins again began recording because Brees’ “words during his interview were extremely painful to hear and I hope he rectifies them with real action,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins took particular umbrage with Brees’ insistence on pointing at his grandfathers, who served the country, as shield from abuse. Black people have served, too, though their experiences were a bit different.
“When our grandfathers fought for this country and served and they came back, they didn’t come back to a hero’s welcome,” Jenkins said. “They came back and got attacked for wearing their uniforms. They came back to racism, to complete violence.
“Here we are in 2020 with the whole country on fire, everybody witnessing a black man being murdered at the hands of the police in cold blood, for everybody to see the whole country’s on fire. And the first thing you do is criticize one’s peaceful protest?”
So many have asked Colin Kaepernick & Co. to find another avenue to protest, without realizing or accepting that finding an avenue to protest that is public is exactly the point.
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As I was trying to muster up the energy and find the words to address Drew Brees’s comments I recorded this video. Before I could post it, Drew reached out to me to discuss his point of view. All in all, I’m still posting this video because it’s important for anyone who wants to consider themself an ally to know how these words and actions affect those who you want to help. Drew’s words during his interview were extremely painful to hear and I hope he rectifies them with real action.
‘You’re somebody who doesn’t understand your privilege,” Jenkins said. “‘…Don’t talk about that here, this is not the place.’ Where’s the place, Drew? I’m disappointed, I’m hurt. While the world tells you that you’re not worthy, that your life doesn’t matter, the last place you want to hear from are the guys that you go to war with and that you consider to be allies and to be your friends. Even though we’re teammates, I can’t let this slide.”