Shannon Sharpe called for Drew Brees to retire after Brees said that kneeling during the national anthem “disrespects the flag.”
Drew Brees is receiving criticism from all around the sports world after he said in an interview on Wednesday that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America. The comment came in response to a question about whether or not Brees would support players who kneel during the national anthem in the new season. His response illustrates that Brees still doesn’t understand why Colin Kaepernick took a knee in the first place.
On Thursday, Shannon Sharpe joined the chorus of voices criticizing Brees. Maybe ‘criticizing’ isn’t the right term: he absolutely eviscerated Brees, going as far as to call for him to retire. Sharpe spoke at length about the black men who have served this country in the military, asking “Did he know that black men fought alongside his grandfather in World War II, although in segregated militaries? Skip, they were fighting in a foreign land for a freedom that, when they came home, they did not enjoy like Drew Brees’ grandfathers did.”
Shannon Sharpe lays into Drew Brees for his comments against the protests.
Sharpe went on to explain the history of black soldiers being beaten, harassed, and even killed following the end of the war. He spoke about the history of black men in the military going back to the Revolutionary War, even though black men were never afforded the freedoms they were promised.
“Think about the black man,” Sharpe said. “Do you think that flag, for 250 years in slavery and another 100 years of Jim Crow, and so you automatically assume that a black man should feel the same pride for the flag as you?”
Sharpe goes on to say that politicians felt black soldiers could never see themselves as heroes, because if they did, they would start demanding more rights for themselves.
“Drew Brees still doesn’t seem to get it. Now, he issued an apology,” Sharpe said. “But it’s meaningless. Because guys know he spoke his heart the very first time around. Now, I don’t know what Drew is gonna do. But he should probably just go ahead and retire now. It will never be the same.”
Brees did issue an apology on Thursday. But the criticism directed at him had already come from inside the locker room, including WR Michael Thomas, WR Emmanuel Sanders, RB Alvin Kamara, and S Malcom Jenkins. These might be relationships he can never recover.
“I thought the flag meant something,” Sharpe said. “It’s supposed to mean something. It’s supposed to mean everything for all people. Freedom, liberties. But if the black man doesn’t have the same freedoms and liberties as the white, what good is the flag?”