Emmanuel Sanders: Drew Brees cried during anthem stance apology
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has shared just how emotional things got when Drew Brees apologized to teammates earlier this year for his polarizing stance on players kneeling during the national anthem.
Appearing Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” Sanders revealed that Brees openly wept when addressing his teammates.
“As he talked, the more and more he talked, you just see a guy with just tears rolling down his face,” Sanders said of Brees’ emotional apology, per TMZ Sports. “I mean, I’ve never seen that. You could just tell that he was hurt by his comments and the things that people were saying about him because he was unaware of it.”
Brees found himself embroiled in controversy in June for what many condemned as ill-timed and tone-deaf remarks about protests during the anthem. The Saints quarterback was subjected to vitriolic backlash in light of comments in which he unequivocally stated he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”
That the comments came in the midst of nationwide protests and unrest over police misconduct following the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody led to even fiercer criticism of Brees.
The Saints quarterback apologized numerous times amid the early fallout — including originally in a text-only Instagram post as well as in a video shared on social media — in the wake of widespread disapproval.
The backlash included rebukes from Saints players, including team leader Cam Jordan, who it merits noting a month later switched gears and praised the quarterback following his earnest admission of fault.
Between Jordan throwing his support behind Brees and Sanders’ recounting of the events of that day, it certainly appears the superstar signal-caller’s apology was a remarkably sincere and heartfelt one that resonated with his teammates.
“We understood where he was coming from and we were able to move past it,” Sanders said Wednesday. “I don’t see any weird energy going on in the locker room.”