Brees insisted that he's "always been an ally, never an enemy," and said he is "sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability."
"I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening … and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen," he said. "For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness."
During the Yahoo Sports interview, Brees also brought up his two grandfathers that fought during World War II when explaining why he believes the #TakeAKnee movement disrespects the flag.
"Both [risked] their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place," he said. "So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about."
Brees' comment did not sit well with Suits star Wendell Pierce, who called out the NFL athlete on Twitter and brought up his own father serving in World War II.
"My father fought in the Double V campaign, victory abroad &victory at home," Pierce — a New Orleans native — wrote. "We won victory over fascism abroad but we’re still fighting racism at home. @Drewbrees my father cheers for you every Sunday, I hope you cheer for him as he takes a knee for the flag he nearly died for."
Other stars to similarly criticize Brees included the NBA's LeBron James, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Saints' wide receiver Michael Thomas.
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.
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