Since Colin Kaepernick first bent the knee in 2016 to protest police brutality against unarmed Black people, there have been a number of duplicitous and defiant whites in America who foolishly tried to tie the protests into disrespecting the “flag” and the “military.” No matter how much Kaepernick, Eric Reid, or Chris Long of the NFL, or award winning pundits like Charles Blow, Bomani Jones, Damon Young and yours truly wrote about the precise reasons for the protests, there was and remains a contingent of ignorant whites and boot-licking Blacks who draw their own conclusions about the matter.
Enter future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, who earlier this week tried to make the now 10-days worth of protesting unarmed George Floyd’s murder at the hand of the police about–you guessed it–the flag and the military. Brees, captain of a New Orleans Saints team that is over 80 percent Black, got roasted on social media and the airwaves by current and former players alike.
The first raw wave came from my little Tallahassee homeboy Antonio Cromartie, who Tweeted the following not long after Brees tried to hijack the narrative:
The day after Cromartie and others let loose, Brees issued a lengthy apology that could have been written by the Ol’ Hobbservstionist himself. Meaning, having heard Brees speak throughout his career, there is no way in Hell he wrote that statement, one that screams “publicist!” Yes, Brees had his PR folks earning their checks as they swooped in to try and save him from being literally ripped apart on the practice and playing field by “The Blacks.”
Just as Brees and his defenders were hoping this story would quickly cycle out, I arose this morning to read an even more scorching series of Tweets from Martellus Bennett, the former NFL tight end who mixes the profane and the profound while blasting the NFL for systemic racism in hiring of coaches and front office personnel who have allowed a cauldron of racism to simmer to boil:
As I have written before, the time for equivocation with regards to how systemic racism and white supremacy are defined is at an end. There is no “both sides” or “agree to disagree”–either you oppose systemic white supremacy in every field from law, to education, to business practices, to housing, to medicine, to even sports and entertainment–or you don’t. And as I wrote about Drew Brees yesterday, instead of a ghost written apology designed to save his neck from the wrath of those big, strong, and fast Black defensive players just itching at the chance to knock him into 2021, he should humble himself, hush, and listen to the experiences of his Black teammates with regards to racism within law enforcement and use his platform to work towards real systemic changes.