Former NFL coach Tony Dungy appeared on "The Pat McAfee Show" to defend Drew Brees, arguing that people should not dismiss the quarterback because they disagree with him voicing his disapproval of kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest.
"Drew Brees can't be afraid to say that and we can't be afraid to say 'Okay, I don't agree with you but let's talk about this," Dungy said. "We can't just say anytime something happens we don't agree with 'Hey I'm done with that and this person.' That doesn't make sense."
"@drewbrees can't be afraid to say that and we can't be afraid to say 'ok I don't agree with you but let's talk about this'— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) June 4, 2020
We can't just say anytime something happens we don't agree with 'Hey I'm done with that and this person' that doesn't make sense"
~ @TonyDungy pic.twitter.com/pe0vYd5nzZ
Brees has found himself facing criticism due to making controversial statements in the midst of nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody. The Saints quarterback issued an apology but many said it was a disingenuous attempt to look good rather than actually own up to his mistakes.
Dungy made it clear that he did not agree with Brees but would not want him to feel like he can't express his views on these topics. When asked what he would say to Brees if the two had a conversation, Dungy said he would point to his father's military service.
“I’d tell Drew that my dad served in the military for this country ... and when he came back from the war, he wasn’t able to ride the bus in certain places ... there’s some real hurt there that goes beyond the flag," Dungy explained.
Of course, some would point out that Brees was the one who said he would "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America" and that people criticizing that statement is not a form of censorship in any way. But Dungy is right to point out the importance of listening and hopefully Brees has taken the time to listen to those who disagree with him, including several of his teammates.