Brittany Brees on racial equality: ‘We will do better’

Following her husband’s lead, Brittany Brees issued a statement vowing to do more to fight racism.

“WE ARE THE PROBLEM,” the wife of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote in a lengthy statement that was posted Saturday on the Instagram page of the family foundation.



“I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts,” she continued. “I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times and every time I read it and the words sink into my heart. I think yes this is what it’s all about. Only until the last few days, until we experienced the death threats we experienced the hate did I realize that these words were speaking directly to us. How could anyone who knows us or has had interactions with us think that Drew or I have a racist bone in our body?

“But that’s the whole point. Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one an another as God loves us. We can feel good about educating our children about the horrors of slavery and history. … “Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing. Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM.”

 

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WE ARE THE PROBLEM . I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts. I have read these quotes and scripture 1000 times and every time I read it and the words sink into my heart. I think yes this is what it’s all about…Only until the last few days ,until we experienced the death threats we experienced the hate… Did I realize that these words were speaking directly to us.. how could anyone who knows us or has had interactions with us think that Drew or I have a racist bone in our body? But that’s the whole point . Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one an another as God loves us. We can feel good about educating our children about the horrors of slavery and history. We can read books to our children about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X., Hank Aaron, Barack Obama, Rosa parks, Harriet Tubman.. and feel like we are doing our part to raise our children to love , be unbiased and with no prejudice. To teach them about all of the African Americans that have fought for and risked their lives against racial injustice. Somehow as white Americans we feel like that checks the box of doing the right thing. Not until this week did Drew and I realize THAT THIS IS THE PROBLEM. To say “I don’t agree with disrespecting the flag “.. I now understand was also saying I don’t understand what the problem really is, I don’t understand what you’re fighting for, and I’m not willing to hear you because of our preconceived notion‘s of what that flag means to us. That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives .. stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt …we will do better.. We want to do better , we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem…is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry ???? -Brittany Brees

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The Saints quarterback apologized Thursday for comments he made one day earlier that he described as “insensitive and completely missed the mark.” He said Wednesday that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country” while reiterating his objection to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

Brittany Brees, Drew Brees
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brittany Brees said she and her husband never meant to disrespect others while respecting the flag.

“That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice. We have heard stories from men and women we have known and loved for years about the racism that occurred in their lives … stories that were never shared or talked about because somehow they were considered normal. To all of our friends and anyone we hurt, we will do better. We want to do better, we want to HEAR you, and we will fight for you because thinking we are not part of the problem is checking the box it means we are are not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry.”

Brittany and Drew Brees have been well-regarded in New Orleans since he joined the Saints in 2006, just a few months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. The couple pledged $5 million to the state of Louisiana earlier this year to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)