New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees attracted backlash Wednesday from across the sports world, including from a teammate, when he reiterated his stance that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America” during an interview with Yahoo Finance.
An emotional Malcolm Jenkins, in a video that has since been deleted from social media, said that he was “hurt” by Brees’ comments and that they were “extremely self-centered.” The Yahoo interview featured Brees’ first comments in the wake of George Floyd’s death last week.
“Our communities are under siege, and we need help,” Jenkins said in one of the videos on Instagram. “And what you’re telling us is don’t ask for help that way. Ask for it a different way. I can’t listen to it when you ask that way. We’re done asking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem.
“And it’s unfortunate because I considered you a friend. I looked up to you. You’re somebody who I had a great deal of respect for. But sometimes you should shut the f— up.”
Jenkins, a safety who agreed to a four-year deal with the Saints in March, later clarified his decision to take down the initial video.
“I recorded a few videos when thinking of how to respond to Drew Brees, I don’t take any of it back-I meant what I said-I removed the 1st video because I knew it be more about the headlines,” he wrote. “I want people to understand how those of us struggling with what’s going on feel.”
Jenkins, who appeared on CNN on Wednesday, was not alone in sharing his thoughts. Brees’ remarks on the flag drew a sharp rebuke on social media from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, among other NFL players, as well as from Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Rodgers also posted on Instagram, with a photo of himself and his teammates locking arms during the national anthem, writing, “A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game. 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 though