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Drew Brees apologized Thursday for anyone whom he hurt with his comments about his stance against kneeling during the national anthem in wake of the visceral backlash he received.

In a lengthy Instagram message, Brees admitted he made comments that were “insensitive and completely missed the mark on what 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,” he added.

The veteran New Orleans Saints quarterback then tried to clarify his stance.

“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,” he wrote. “I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.”

He said he acknowledged that he and other Americans have not done enough to fight for equality for African-Americans.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

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

Brees’ comments came less than 24 hours after he said he would never agree with kneeling during the national anthem.

Brees told Yahoo Finance that he would never agree with players protesting during the national anthem.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States,” he said.

Brees likened standing for the national anthem to saluting the military.

“I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. 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,” he said.

“And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. 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. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”

Brees received backlash from across the sports spectrum, including LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers and several of his teammates.

Author: Ryan Gaydos

Source: Fox News: Drew Brees apologizes after visceral backlash over stance against kneeling during national anthem

Former NFL star Herschel Walker criticizes California proposal granting health benefits to illegal immigrants

Legendary NFL running back Herschel Walker questioned California’s proposal to offer health care benefits to illegal immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25. The proposal, expected to be voted on by the end of the week, would be funded in part through a resurrection of the Obama-era individual-mandate penalty.

Former NFL running back Herschel Walker on Monday slammed California over a proposed bill that would give healthcare benefits to some illegal immigrants who live in the state.

Under an agreement between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrat lawmakers in the state legislature, low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in the state illegally would be eligible for California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal.

The deal emerged as part of a broader $213 million budget and would take effect next January.

Walker, a former Pro Bowler who played 12 seasons in the NFL, tweeted his disapproval with the plan.

“Not to point fingers at California, but why would you give free healthcare to illegal immigrants when your streets are littered with homeless legal residents, trash, and tents. California is a beauitful place, so let’s keep it that way,” Walker wrote.

Walker’s message received more than 24,000 retweets and 78,000 likes on Twitter.

California officials have estimated the benefits would be available to about 90,000 low-income illegal immigrants at a cost of $98 million per year.

To pay for part of it, the state agreed to start taxing people who don’t have health insurance. It’s a revival of the individual-mandate penalty that had been on the books nationwide under former President Barack Obama’s health-care law until Republicans in Congress eliminated it as part of the 2017 overhaul to the tax code.

The budget agreement still must be approved by the full state legislature; a vote is expected this week. State law requires lawmakers to enact a budget by midnight on June 15. If they don’t, lawmakers would lose their pay.

Fox News’ Frank Miles and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @Gaydos_.

Author: Ryan Gaydos

Source: Fox News: NFL legend Herschel Walker slams California bill aiming to give health care benefits to some illegal immigrants

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