LeBron James didn’t appreciate Drew Brees’ comments Wednesday about protests during the national anthem.
The Los Angeles Lakers star provided a response in multiple messages on Twitter:
Brees said he wouldn’t support kneeling during the national anthem because he believes it’s disrespectful:
Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a protest against racial injustice and police violence, which met criticism in the league and among fans. The quarterback became a free agent in 2017 after six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and has been unsigned since.
Brees was among those who criticized Kaepernick in 2016, saying it was “disrespectful to the American flag,” via Mike Triplett of ESPN.
“I wholeheartedly disagree,” he said of Kaepernick’s method of protest.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback also said in 2017 that Kaepernick wasn’t being blackballed by the NFL. Kaepernick filed a grievance in 2017 alleging the league and owners were colluding to keep him out of the NFL, and he reached a settlement with the league in 2019.
While Kaepernick remains out of the NFL, his protest is in the spotlight once again after nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism over the past week. The protests were sparked in part by the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody May 25.
White quarterbacks such as Carson Wentz, Derek Carr and Joe Burrow sent messages in support of the protests on social media. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also put out a statement, noting there is an “urgent need for action.”
LeBron, who has been active on social media supporting protests, thinks Brees is sending the wrong message.