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Stealing the strength of our conventions: Drew Brees’ flip-flop on patriotism

Written By | Jun 4, 2020
Drew Brees, Anthem, Patriotism, Kneeling

Lead Image: By Ian Ransley – Flickr: Drew Brees, Jan. 7th, 2010, CC BY 2.0,

WASHINGTON: I served for a little over 27yrs active duty (Aug ’74 – Jan ’02). I am also Black. I have personally encountered Colored v. White water fountains as a child growing up in New Orleans. While on active duty, I’ve accompanied a flag-draped coffin from Europe back to the United States. I have also participated in a burial at sea ceremony.

The above info, while it may be enlightening to the reader, does not add credibility to what I am about to say:

When you kneel during the National Anthem, you are disrespecting the flag of the United States: Period.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees made outrage headlines when he was asked about players kneeling protests against police brutality. Brees respond to that outrage, saying:

“I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regard to fighting for racial equality and justice,” Brees said. “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.”

Brees has his defenders

Brees’ remarks on the flag also drew a sharp rebuke on social media across the sports landscape

When asked during a Yahoo interview, Brees reiterated his stance that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America”. Thus attracting social media backlash Wednesday. Which included a potential divide in his locker room, where players such as Malcolm Jenkins and Demario Davis are among the leaders of the players’ coalition seeking social justice and racial equality.

New Orleans Saints: This franchise is family

As a result, Brees tweeted:

Brees has his supporters on social media as well:

It may be a good time to remind everyone jumping on the Bash Brees Bandwagon that Brees and his wife, Brittany, have been heavily involved in charitable efforts throughout his 19-year NFL career. They helped to rebuild New Orleans after Katrina.  More recently making donation of $5 million to help Louisiana during the coronavirus pandemic.

What it is all about

I know that many are maintaining that Colin Kaepernick said it has nothing to do with the flag; it’s all about protesting police brutality. On the surface, the casual reader/listener may go along with that. But that argument falls flat because the action of kneeling only happens when the National Anthem is played.

Just because you “SAY” it has nothing to do with the flag… does not negate the significance of the action of kneeling while the anthem is played.

Again, because the action of kneeling always coincides with the playing of the National Anthem underscores the fact that it’s about the flag and what it represents.

Anyone who doesn’t think it’s about the flag is oblivious to the fact that the flag (i.e.: our “national colors”) are paraded/presented on the field by the Color Guard at each game.

Think about what would happen if someone chose to remain seated, or kneels… while:

  • the bride enters the chapel, or
  •  when the judge enters the courtroom, or
  • a casket is being wheeled out of the church at a funeral, or
  • the commanding officer enters a space where military personnel are present.

The action of standing is a sign of respect, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with whether or not you like what you’re witnessing. Societal ills. Or if you want to hijack the event to “make a statement” about societal ills.

If you choose to do so (i.e.: not stand at the ceremonially appropriate time), you’re disrespecting the event… and you undermine, or discredit, the cause for which you say you’re representing.

As you no doubt know, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution covers more than one protection. It also guarantees our rights, as Americans, to freedom of


Although we are afforded all of these rights, we must exercise discretion when we choose to use them. If individuals want to protest police brutality, it is their Constitutional right. No one can arbitrarily take it away.

However, when we assert our perceived rights at a time and place that is inappropriate, the cause we are defending is tarnished in the process.

Peace, out.

Lead Image: By Ian Ransley – Flickr: Drew Brees, Jan. 7th, 2010, CC BY 2.0,


Bill Randall

Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward. His U.S. Navy career spanned from August 1974 through January 2002, during which he had a decorated and distinguished span of honorable service. His profession and specialty was Earth Science (Meteorology, Oceanography and Geodesy). After retiring from active duty on January 1, 2002, he entered the private sector as an Independent Insurance Agent (AFLAC) and garnered recognition as a top performer as a new member. Shortly thereafter he earned his B.S. degree in Business Management, and later earned his MBA degree. He has also earned Information Technology (IT) Certification from Wake Technical Community College (May 2013). Bill worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Milwaukee VA Pension Center (2002 –2005), processing hundreds of benefits claims for veterans and their family members. Bill subsequently relocated and served on the staff of a local church in Pensacola, FL (May – Dec 2005), and then accepted a business opportunity as a Generalist with a major Management Consulting Firm (2006 – 2008). In 2010 he started and now owns a private Management Consulting company, which is now based in Phoenix, AZ. He once ran for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party (June 2009). He has also twice run for U.S Congress (NC-13th Congressional district), winning the GOP nomination in the 2010 Primary, and losing in the GOP Primary in 2012. Bill was a teacher (elementary, middle and high school), teaching English Language Arts, Geometry and Physics from July 2014 through December 2018. He is author of the book “Examining God’s Purposes for Fasting and Prayer” (Author House, 2005), and is a full time Evangelist. Bill has a son, four daughters and four grandchildren.