The NFL would be so much better off if the Bennett brothers were co-commissioners
Drew Brees got a significant portion of the NFL to turn against him yesterday when he ignorantly framed protests during the national anthem as “disrespecting the flag of the United States of America,” citing his grandfathers’ military service as the reason why he chooses to stand with his hand over his heart during the anthem.
I don’t know how thick your skull has to be to not realize that people of all backgrounds served in the armed forces to protect the freedom to protest embodied by that flag, but I guess Brees’s understanding of history isn’t as strong as his arm.
Brees’s comments drew responses from a large number of athletes, including his teammates Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins, as well as LeBron James. My favorite response, though, was from former NFL tight end Martellus Bennett, because he went beyond Brees and spoke about issues in the NFL as a whole.
Over the course of 23 tweets, Bennett spoke about the harsh treatment of Black quarterbacks, shallow corporate statements, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio’s ridiculous claim there isn’t racism in the NFL, paternalistic coaches and the difficulty Black former players have making post-playing careers in the league.
It’s a long thread, but I’m going to embed it in full here because it’s worth it.
Bennett wasn’t done there, either. He had two addenda about Black coaches and quarterbacks.
He’s 100% right about all of that, especially the part about coaching and front office jobs. The white billionaires who own the teams have set up a system where Black people are a majority of the disposable workforce of players but far underrepresented among decision makers. You can’t tell me the NFL wouldn’t be better off with Bennett in a position of power helping to make the league more equitable for everybody.
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Brees apologized, but it still would have been nice for him to acknowledge that the flag stands for the right to protest
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