“A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game,” Rodgers wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action.” One of the hash tags he used was #solidarity.
Despite the positivity in Rodgers’ post, a former teammate of his wasn’t buying it.
Former NFL tight end Martellus Bennett, who played with Rodgers and the Packers for seven games in 2017, quoted a previous tweet from Rodgers in which the superstar quarterback said of his teammates kneeling: “They have a battle for racial equality. That’s what they’re trying to get a conversation started about.”
“Doesn’t sound like an ally sounds like a spectator,” Bennett tweeted Thursday.
“So miss me with that bulls--t,” Bennett continued. “Show me one. I don’t want to see y’all paint these dudes as white saviors that were always speaking up. It’s just not true. I was there. He saw what I went thru [sic] while protesting in Green Bay. And protesting in Wisconsin is a wild experience.”
Drew Brees apologized Thursday for anyone whom he hurt with his comments about his stance against kneeling during the national anthem in wake of the backlash he received.
“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States,” Brees had said.
In a lengthy Instagram message, Brees admitted he made comments that were “insensitive and completely missed the mark on what we are facing right now as a country.”
Other athletes across the sports world shared their thoughts about Brees’ remarks, including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, and former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, among others.
He also received backlash from several teammates, including Saints wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and running back Alvin Kamara.