Jaguars' Leonard Fournette, K'Lavon Chaisson Speak Out Against Drew Brees' Comments
Various members of the NFL spoke out on Wednesday after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees made controversial comments on players kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Brees' comments directly contradicted the stance many had taken during the kneeling movement, resulting in Brees catching flack from players throughout the league.
Among those players pushing back on Brees were Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and rookie outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, each of whom took to Twitter to give their reactions to Brees' interview with Yahoo Finance.
"Drew hurt me with that one," said Chaisson, who just spent three years playing for LSU in Louisiana.
"And like I said earlier he will never understand what it is to be black....... " tweeted Fournette, a New Orleans native.
Chaisson and Fournette were among many NFL players to speak out against Brees for his comments made on what kneeling during the national anthem means. Among the players were current and former teammates of Brees, such as Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Kenny Vaccaro, and more.
Kneeling during the national anthem became a movement after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in August 2016. Kaepernick, who would be joined by teammate Eric Reid, would state that his protest was against racial inequality and police brutality in the United States and not meant as disrespect toward the military.
Kaepernick and other players throughout the NFL has since reiterated what the purpose of the protest was, but there has still been some disconnect, such as with Brees and his interpreted meaning of the protest.
"I vividly remember the Colin Kaepernick conversations. ‘Don’t ever disrespect the flag’ was the phrase that I heard over and over again. This idea that players were kneeling in support of social justice was something some people couldn’t wrap their head around," Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said in a statement regarding the death of George Floyd last week. "The outrage that I saw in the media and the anger I felt in some of my own private conversations caused me to sever a few long-standing friendships."
Floyd died last Monday in the custody of Minneapolis law enforcement officers after police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him down with his knee on the back of his neck. The incident was captured on a video, showing Floyd repeating stating that he couldn't breathe.
Chauvin, who was one of four police officers detaining Floyd at the time, was arrested last Friday. Since Floyd's death, there have been protests throughout the United States to push back against police brutality and racial inequality.