"I write this with tears in my eyes and I hope you all hear our hearts," Brittany Brees shared

By Joelle Goldstein
June 08, 2020 02:21 PM

Drew Brees' wife, Brittany, has issued her own apology following her husband's recent comments about kneeling during the national anthem.

Over the weekend, the mother of four shared a lengthy note to the couple's Brees Dream Foundation Instagram page, acknowledging her husband's mistake and promising to learn from it.

"WE ARE THE PROBLEM," she began. "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,' " Brittany continued, referencing two quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. about the danger of "silence" and a passage from the Bible she shared alongside her note.

"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," she wrote. "Somehow we as white America, we can feel good about not being racist, feel good about loving one 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."

Brittany Brees, Drew Brees
Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic for ACM

Brittany went on to address her husband's comments from last week, where he said in an interview with Yahoo Finance that he "will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States" when asked about the #TakeAKnee movement that Colin Kaepernick started in 2016.

"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 notions of what that flag means to us," she explained.

"That’s the problem we are not listening, white America is not hearing. We’re not actively LOOKING for racial prejudice," Brittany continued, adding that they "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."

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She then issued an apology to anyone she and her husband have hurt, writing, "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 not doing enough. It’s our job to educate ourselves. We are sorry."

Drew Brees
Chris Graythen/Getty

After facing backlash for his comments on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, 41, also issued an apology last week.

"In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country," he wrote. "They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, 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."

He continued, sharing that he condemns the oppression against the black community "that still exists today," and also admitted that "we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community."

"I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement," Drew said. "I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.