The Facts: Brees issued an apology Thursday for his comments on "disrespecting the flag," saying he "completely missed the mark" on current issues in the United States and that it "breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused."
Diehards Line:During an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Brees reiterated his stance that he will "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America." He later told ESPN that he stands with his teammates fighting for racial equality and justice but also with the military, past and present. The comments drew harsh criticism from a number of people, including his teammate Malcolm Jenkins, who said he was hurt by Brees' comments and that they were "extremely self-centered." In an Instagram post Thursday, Brees said he was apologizing to his friends, teammates, New Orleans, the black community, the NFL community and "anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday." Brees continued to say he stands with the black community "in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality" while supporting the creation of real policy change. Brees concluded his post by expressing his dismay over how his words have affected people. "I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability," Brees wrote. "I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening ... and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness." Another teammate who was openly derisive of Brees' comments was Michael Thomas, who accepted Brees' apology.