Drew Brees v Michael Thomas: The Less Than 24 Hour Feud and Putting the What Before the Why
By now, we know the story regarding Saints QB Drew Brees. In the shortest of recaps, Drew Brees speaks about protests saying he doesn’t agree with kneeling for the flag.
We can pretend to ignore this, but Michael Thomas is 100% the real leader of the Saints right now.
The Saints star receiver starts tweeting about it. Malcolm Jenkins makes a video about it. Other athletes and people jump on the case of Drew Brees.
Less than 24 hours after the outrage, Drew Brees apologizes this morning. Michael Thomas accepts. Malcolm Jenkins deletes his video.
Caught up? Ok good.
Do I think Drew Brees is racist? No.
Does this erase the insane amount of charity he has done for New Orleans? No.
Should we forget what he has done? No.
Do I think he deserved the criticism for his response? Yes.
Do I think him speaking about flag when asked about the protests is tone deaf? Yes.
I have written several columns in recent weeks regarding race because it is the an important discussion to have right now. Let’s rev that engine once again…
Putting the What Before the Why
Four years ago when Brees was first asked about the protests during the anthem, he responded similar to what he did yesterday. He talked about not disrespecting the flag. Meanwhile, he failed to address the reasons for the protests. He made it about the flag.
The cliche’ is history has a way of repeating itself.
Four years later and in the midst of the “why” finally being heard, he gave the same answer to the question, unwavering and ignoring the reason behind it.
He apologized today saying “he missed the mark.”
He certainly did, which is why the criticism is fair.
I have been talking a lot about how the narrative for the protests have been hijacked over the last four years. In fact, it was something I wrote years ago as well.
The reason the narrative was hijacked is because of those exact sentiments that Brees spewed yesterday.
Instead of taking the time to talk about racial injustice and police brutality when asked about the protests, he made the protests about the flag.
I don’t think he would be as criticized for talking about the flag if he talked about the why first. Maybe, I am wrong on that as it is pure speculation. But it would at least be addressing the voices and showing they are being heard.
The protests were never about the flag. That is the point he, along with those defending him today, are missing.
The pedestal Brees is being put on by the fans defending him is nothing more than seeing him through rose colored lenses because he is Drew Fucking Brees.
The common defense I have heard is the “charity he has done” or he is “entitled to his opinion.”
I am just going to go ahead and point at Colin Kaepernick here and ask did you defend him for those reasons?
Probably not. His opinion fell on deaf ears and got him criticized and eventually blackballed from the NFL. His charity and donations fell on deaf ears.
If you would like to @ me and say you did defend his right the opinion. I sure as hell hope you don’t have anything on Facebook from the last four years saying otherwise. I will find it and I will use it against you to prove my point.
Now because the narrative is no longer in favor of the tone deaf echo chamber, we all of a sudden say “everyone is entitled to their opinions.” No, I won’t let those arguments slide. Those arguments are only being launched because it fits YOUR narrative.
Do I agree with everything Kaepernick has done? No. I have made those things clear in previous columns.
But, I always preface that by saying I understand the message. Because I did and I do.
My absolute favorite part about the protests that Colin Kaepernick started…
WE ARE STILL HAVING THE CONVERSATION 4 FUCKING YEARS LATER!
That is despite the attempts by people to suppress it.
I have heard the argument of “find another way” too many times to count. My response was always, what’s another way to get the message across in the same magnitude?
The common responses were press conferences and charity. Check and check. Most athletes do those things and it continues to fall on deaf ears. Kaepernick did those things and it fell on deaf ears.
LeBron James has inserted himself into politics more than once. He funded an entire school for underprivileged children and continues to speak out. That only led to him being told to “shut up and dribble” by a mouth breathing moron named Laura Ingraham.
Here I am four years later, still waiting on the answer to how to protest with the premise that their voices will still be heard.
Your voice was heard when you tuned out of the NFL. The NFL had to step in and rule kneeling during the anthem would no longer be allowed due to a massive slide in the ratings. We heard your voice. The NFL heard your voice. They acted accordingly.
For the record, the NFL had every right to step in and protect their business. Just like you had every right to tune out.
Now, it is time for you to hear their voice. Just like you don’t like the means of the protest. I, along with many others, don’t like that you missed the mark for the why for four years, much like Brees did.
I quoted Lupe Fiasco in my last column in regards to the history of oppression in America. I will once again quote his lyrics from the song Words I Never Said which perfectly characterizes the feelings of guys like Michael Thomas, Malcolm Jenkins and the others who called out Brees yesterday…
I’m locked inside a cell in me, I know that there’s a jail in you
Consider this your bailing out, so take a breath, inhale a few
My screams is finally getting free, my thoughts is finally yelling through
Their voice is finally being heard loud and clear. I applaud Brees for apologizing and saying he missed the mark (I hope he truly understands that). I applaud Michael Thomas for accepting the apology when he could have easily gave him the middle finger.
Much like Ingraham did to LeBron when when she said “shut up and dribble” and then defended Brees yesterday.
It is time for some others to not miss that mark.
You didn’t defend the opinions you disagreed with. Don’t start now and say that Brees shouldn’t be criticized for his.