Editorial

FLASHBACK: Jim Brown Says He Would Never ‘Denigrate’ The Flag By Kneeling During The National Anthem

(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Haute Living)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
Font Size:

Legendary NFL running back Jim Brown isn’t a fan of kneeling during the national anthem.

Kneeling during the national anthem has been at the center of the news ever since the death of George Floyd, Drew Brees’ comments about disrespecting the flag and the subsequent backlash and apologies. The protests infamously were started by Colin Kaepernick when he played for the 49ers.

Following the Saints superstar quarterback saying he wouldn’t kneel and thinks it’s wrong, he had to issue two apologies! You can see both below. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. 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. 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. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge 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. 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. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am 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. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

It seems like a great time to remember Jim Brown, arguably the second greatest running back in NFL history behind Barry Sanders, and his stance on the anthem.

The former Cleveland Browns star told the Associated Press the following back in 2018 about kneeling during the national anthem:

I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag…I am not going to denigrate my flag and I’m going to stand for the national anthem. I’m fighting with all of my strength to make it a better country, but I don’t think that’s the issue. Because what is the top side? Are you not going to stand up? This is our country, man.

If there was ever a time to remember Brown’s words, it’s right now. There literally couldn’t be a better time.

Look, you can support kneeling during the anthem and protesting, or you can be 100% against it. I think my feelings on the issue have been made crystal clear over the years. When the anthem is playing, I think you should stand.

However, this nonsense and backlash against Brees needs to come to a quick end. He never should have even apologized. He spoke an opinion, which is held by millions of Americans and people flipped out.

Guess what, folks? Lots of people think kneeling during the anthem isn’t acceptable. I’m not saying you can’t feel like it’s okay, but Drew Brees isn’t some fringe element actor.

This is America, and it’s okay to have an opinion. Jim Brown literally has firmer views on standing for the anthem than Drew Brees does. Let’s all stop with the outrage and just let people live.