The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.
Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."
This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.
Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality
Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.
But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?
Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?
When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.
After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.
Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.
Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.
Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.
For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.
Blake Neff is just the latest secret racist to be exposed and ousted from Tucker Carlson's orbit.
On Friday Blake Neff—the top writer for Tucker Carlson Tonight—resigned after years of his racist, sexist, and homophobic Internet posts were exposed.
As a result, Tucker Carlson now has an opening for a new top writer who is better at hiding their secret racism. But maybe that assessment isn't fair. After all, Carlson isn't like the rest of Fox News.
Sure, he earns millions of dollars a year telling his viewers to be afraid of Democrats because if they get into office "people who supported Donald Trump will be punished" and that "there's never been an American political party as radical and as angry as the Democrats are now."
The best anime games are the ones that look the coolest and make you feel the most powerful.
Every anime fan who also loves video games (so...pretty much all of us) knows the feeling of watching an epic battle go down and thinking, "Damn, it would be so cool to play that."
Dragon Ball FighterZ<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1Mzg0Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTMzMzE3MX0.wx53Jou8Dy9a6G5cO-rDf0D6Ubb2d_E1BpfRr9mFAvo/img.png?width=980" id="d41a9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="81d8ad4986fea72f094da80e12c4453b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Dragon Ball FighterZ" />
Shueisha<p><em>Dragon Ball FighterZ </em>is the one major exception to the "anime games are not technically great video games" rule. Regardless of whether or not someone likes the <em>Dragon Ball Z </em>franchise, <em>Dragon Ball FighterZ </em>is undoubtedly the single-best 2D fighter on the current gaming scene.<br></p><p>Developer Arc System Works, which is also behind the popular 2D fighting franchises <em>Guilty Gear </em>and <em>BlazBlue</em>, went all out on <em>FighterZ. </em>The combat system is deeply complex, designed to facilitate hyper-fast-paced battles where life bars can be tanked by a single string of well-executed combos. The 37 (soon to be 40 with DLC) character roster is incredibly diverse, with every character's play style feeling both distinct and true to their personality. For example, Broly plays like a gigantic powerhouse with the ability to attack through opponents' projectiles, while Hit—the alien assassin from <em>Dragon Ball Super</em>—relies on speed, parries, and technical acumen. </p><p><em>FighterZ </em>is proof that in the hands of an expert developer, anime games can, indeed, be great games period.<br></p>
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1Mzg1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTk2MTE4M30.Auh2onGuK-jDbi2rsLFRAwVrI-r5yHIjxOHgbP1qELc/img.jpg?width=980" id="999bc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="39fd07804a199d3cf0cd26d1abf8aa3a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3" />
Shueisha<p>Not every anime game can be <em>Dragon Ball Fighterz</em>, and that's perfectly okay. Sometimes it's nice to relax and play a more casual fighting game where you can just screw around as your favorite character. In more casual games like these, the bigger the roster, the better.</p><p>When it comes to character roster size, <em>Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 </em>(or <em>Dragon Ball Z: Sparkling! Meteor</em>) is wholly unmatched. <em>Tenkaichi 3 </em>features 98 characters and 161 different forms, making it one of the largest playable rosters in any fighting game ever. Finally, we can play not just as heavy hitters like Goku and Vegeta, but also as <a href="https://dragonball.fandom.com/wiki/Spopovich" target="_blank">Spopovich</a>, the muscular bald man in a unitard who was in like three episodes from the Buu Saga before being killed. </p><p>On a cooler note, you can also play as Arale, the main character from <em>Dragon Ball </em>creator Akira Toriyama's earlier work, <em>Dr. Slump</em>, and that kind of crossover reference is exactly why <em>Tenkaichi 3 </em>is such a great anime game.</p>
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1Mzg4OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjA0MjY3MX0.BxmH7sZoe6oj9ApxqkvEeaNUrgGlnMWU3bkZsVdhDAk/img.jpg?width=980" id="e810b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3a82a85aefbae20daba598640eb55c1f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4" />
Shueisha<p>The <em>Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm </em>franchise is probably the best casual anime fighting game series, due to its smooth gameplay mechanics that allow you to run around 3D playing fields just like a real ninja. More importantly, though, the games feature giant boss battles against the various Tailed Beasts that are epic in scale. </p><p><em>Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 </em>is the culmination of all the previous titles, including a huge list of characters from throughout all of the anime's incarnations, including <em>Naruto</em>, <em>Naruto Shippuden</em>, and <em>Boruto</em>. The game serves as a great capstone for <em>Naruto</em> and perhaps more than any other game really makes you feel like you're playing the anime.<br></p>
One Piece Pirate Warriors 3<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1MzkyOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjA5MzU4NH0.jS9rRj0b_mJtvpC2LeWqGOZ-IIs1Z-rAVOzAGYOH1rI/img.jpg?width=980" id="e96b3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="65428cdd1d44c45b587212c4658114d8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="One Piece Pirate Warriors 3" />
Shueisha<p>Developed by Koei Tecmo's Omega Force division, <em>One Piece Pirate Warriors </em>falls under the action game sub-genre known as <em>Musou </em>(literally "Unrivaled"), alongside other entries like <em>Dynasty Warriors </em>(inspired by China's Three Kingdoms period) and <em>Samurai Warriors </em>(inspired by Japan's Sengoku period). These games are designed to create an epic sense of scale, placing you in the role of an incredibly powerful warrior and pitting you against 1000s of foes at once. As you mow through mobs of enemies and demolish (slightly more) powerful enemy leaders, you truly feel like an all-powerful hero.<br></p><p><em>One Piece</em>'s giant world and ridiculous characters work incredibly well within this context. Notably, <em>One Piece Pirate Warriors 4</em> released relatively recently, but <em>One Piece Pirate Warriors 3</em> still boasts more alternate costumes, story chapters, in-game collectibles, and post-game content. If you want the ultimate <em>Pirate Warriors </em>experience, <em>3 </em>is still definitely the way to go.<br></p>
Jump Ultimate Stars<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1Mzk1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTE2NzI3M30.HQDN7GRWDFng51_eiMKSxOPgNrO__r-bCiRartnQcEc/img.jpg?width=980" id="bc503" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5ca683d89a61fa0613c9413ef45a967a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Jump Ultimate Stars" />
Shueisha<p>In Japan, the vast majority of popular action manga are published in <em>Weekly Shonen Jump</em>. This means that <em>Shonen Jump</em>'s publisher, Shueisha, owns the rights to a vast array of franchises from <em>Dragon Ball </em>to <em>One Piece </em>to <em>JoJo's Bizarre Adventure</em>, and many, many more. As such, they would be <em>insane</em> not to make a massive video game collaboration.</p><p>Enter the <em>Jump Stars </em>series, which does exactly that. <em>J-Stars Victory VS </em>and <em>Jump Force</em>, the two most recent entries for home consoles, ended up being disappointing due to a weak combat systems, even by anime video game standards. </p><p>Luckily, <em>Jump Ultimate Stars, </em>released in 2006 for Nintendo DS, still holds up. The game plays kind of like a low-res anime version of <em>Super Smash Bros.</em>, and the character roster is sizable while maintaining the distinct feel of each character and series. <em>Ultimate Stars </em>is only available in Japanese, but it works perfectly on American DS systems, and everything is intuitive enough to figure out with relatively little hassle. If you're an anime fan and want the best collab game ever made, track this one down. </p>
- 19 Best Anime Series You Can Watch on Netflix - Popdust ›
- Top 10 video game plot twists! - Popdust ›
- How "Demon Slayer" Went From OK Manga to the Best New Anime ... ›
- Why Are Black Hair Options Still So Limited in Video Games ... ›
- All the Best "Simpsons" Memes, Ranked - Popdust ›
- An Old Gamer Recommends Classic Video Games to Gen-Z - Popdust ›
- Ranking the Strongest Video Game Ninja Girls to Step On Me ... ›
- Why Attack on Titan is the Best TV Show of 2019 - Popdust ›
- So You Want to Get into Anime: The Best Gateway Anime Series to ... ›