Posted: Jun 4, 2020 / 05:35 am CDT / Updated: Jun 4, 2020 / 08:53 to be CDT

New olions Saints quarterback attracted Brees smiles after defeating the Indianapolis Colts in new Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, Fle)

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NEW orleans (AP) — Saints quarterback attracted Brees apologized Thursday for his comments versus kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem after ~ he obtained sharp criticism from fellow athletes, consisting of some of his own teammates.

“I would choose to to apologize to mine friends, teammates, the City of brand-new Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone i hurt with my comments yesterday. In speak with few of you, it division my heart to understand the pain I have caused,” he said in one Instagram post. “In an attempt to talk around respect, unity, and also solidarity centered about the American flag and the national anthem, ns made comments the were insensitive and completely missed the note on the issues we are facing right currently as a country.”

Brees’ early stage remarks came during an interview v Yahoo in i m sorry he was asked come revisit previous NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest the police brutality versus minorities.

“I will never ever agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the joined States,” Brees stated then, including that the national anthem reminds him of his grandfathers, who offered in the equipped forces during people War II. “In many cases, it bring me to tears thinking about all that has been sacrificed, and not simply in the military, but for that matter, those transparent the polite rights movements of the ’60s, and all that has actually been endured by so many human being up until this point.”

Critical responses to Brees’ statements showed up on social media from major professional athletes, consisting of the Los Angeles Lakers’LeBron Jamesand Saints safetyMalcolm Jenkins.

Jenkins to be Brees’ teammate as soon as the Saints won the Super bowl in the 2009 season, yet spent the previous six periods with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to returning to brand-new Orleans this offseason.

Brees has actually said he supports those protesting police brutality yet that that does not watch the national anthem as the ideal forum for that. In 2017, Brees participated v teammates who knelt before the nationwide anthem, however then was standing in unison as soon as the anthem to be played.

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Since the interview, countless teammates, fellow athletes and celebrities have responded on social media.