Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Richard Sherman says majority ‘didn’t want to hear’ Colin Kaepernick’s message

Jun 3, 2020 at 11:42 PM--

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees drew criticism from many inside and outside of the sports world on Wednesday by exhibiting a failure to understand why a player would choose to peacefully protest during the national anthem.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country," Brees told Yahoo! Finance.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was among many of Brees' critics, which included Niners Kwon Alexander, Arik Armstead, others sports stars, and even Saints teammates Malcolm Jenkins and Michael Thomas.

"It's unfortunate because I considered you a friend," an emotional Jenkins said in a video via social media. "I looked up to you. You're somebody who I had a great deal of respect for. But sometimes you should shut the f--- up."

Sherman was never a teammate of Colin Kaepernick but understood the reasoning behind his efforts in 2016 when the former 49ers quarterback chose to kneel during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.

At the time, that reason got lost as national debate surrounded a seeming lack of patriotism and respect for the military, neither of which were ever at the heart of the protest. Kaepernick was using his platform to create awareness toward social injustice, which the 49ers publicly supported.

"He was really straightforward because this has been an issue forever," Sherman told Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston (h/t to Marcus White for the find). "I don't think the message got lost; I think the majority didn't want to hear the message because they didn't feel like it impacted their lives, so they avoided an uncomfortable conversation."

Brees acknowledged that the nation has a long way to go while adding: "But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity."

Brees attempted to clarify his statement after the Yahoo! interview. Still, many feel the quarterback failed to exhibit an understanding of why some might choose to address the situation differently than himself.

"I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice," Brees told ESPN. "I also stand with my grandfathers who risked their lives for this country and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis."

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