I understand that the Drew Brees national anthem incident was over 8 months ago, but as it served as an impetus for this forum, I thought it would be a good kickoff for Jake’s Takes.
For those living under a rock, back in June, 2020, while being interviewed by Yahoo Sports, Drew Brees was asked if the death of George Floyd would lead to more national anthem protests, in particular, more kneeling. I am not going to pass judgment on Drew Brees’ choice not to accept the binary terms of the question, but it did take me back to my younger days, when my father would say emphatically “it’s a yes or no answer, son!” We all know Drew Brees took the opportunity to declare emphatically that he would never kneel for the national anthem, and he didn’t stop there. He cited the reasons for his decision, which included his grandfathers’ military service, and how he thought about them every time he stood for the anthem, hand over heart.
My reaction was immediate and very strong. “Drew Brees is going places where others have failed”, I said to myself. “And he has the credibility to do it”. It took less than 48 hours for the optimistic tone of my inner dialogue to go from cynicism to skepticism, and finally disgust. Why the change of heart? Because Drew Brees, in the position he has earned over years of being a very decent human being, had the opportunity to start the healing and understanding, and he fumbled. He gave in to the mob, who unanimously labeled him as a bad guy in the best terms, and a racist in the worst.
Every discussion on race seems to devolve very quickly, with each side claiming the other side doesn’t understand.
Hello? McFly? Anybody Home? This is why we have conversations. Webster’s top entry for the definition of conversation is “oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas”, for crying out loud! Exchange means more than one – all Brees had to do was ask why or what? What do others disagree with and why all the vitriol? This simple “exchange” may have started the conversation that we all crave, and quite frankly, need.
I don’t have the street cred of Drew Brees, but I think this forum may be a good start to get us talking again, thinking critically, and solving problems. Let the conversations begin.