Drew Brees has apologized for saying that kneeling during the national anthem "disrespects" the American flag and the military. His teammates have accepted the apology, but one opponent did. Philadelphia Eagles defender Malik Jackson made it very clear that he doesn't accept this apology or believe Brees.
Speaking with Jeff Skversky of 6ABC, Jackson revealed that he has circled the 2020 game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints. He said that he thinks Brees only apologized due to receiving criticism for his comments. Jackson cited the fanbase in Louisiana as a reason for the apology. The defender also said that there are racist players in the NFL.
"I don’t accept his apology," Jackson said. "I think he's only apologizing because of people coming for him, and people are disagreeing with him and he understands that his base in Louisiana, there's a lot of black people. Whatever happens, it must be nice to make $25 million a year and have that stance."
Jackson will have an opportunity to voice this opinion to Brees during the 2020 NFL season. The Eagles and Saints play each other on Dec. 13, and Jackson's job will be chasing Brees down and sacking him repeatedly. The defender made it very clear that he will try to deliver a message to the quarterback during the game.
"I'm going to have a lot to say," Jackson said about the matchup. "Hopefully, I don’t get too wild with it. But I don’t understand how you could say that when you have people blocking for you who are black, catching balls from you who are black and people that are running the ball for you who are black."
Several prominent figures have called out Brees following his comments about the protests, as well as his multiple apologies. Shannon Sharpe, co-host of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, said that Brees should go ahead and retire. ESPN analyst Booger McFarland, on the other hand, tweeted that the quarterback was only sorry for the way that America is "crucifying" him.
While the majority of these personalities have criticized Brees, there is one that sent a positive message to the Saints. Shaquille O'Neal appeared at a virtual team meeting as Brees apologized for his initial comments. The retired NBA star witnessed the back-and-forth and Brees' teammates accepting his apology. At the end of the meeting, O'Neal told the players to avoid letting the media and social media divide them. He said this is what happened to him and Kobe Bryant during their time with the Los Angeles Lakers.