Crafting an apology and wading through Google to find the exact right photo to accompany it – empathetic! inspiring! hopeful! – was the easy part.
But Drew Brees needs to prove there is substance to his mea culpa, that his wasn’t yet another word salad from someone who doesn’t get it and just wants all this to go away.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback posted an apology on Instagram on Thursday morning for the firestorm he set off the previous day by mischaracterizing protests by Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players as “disrespecting the flag.” Brees didn’t apologize for the mischaracterization, mind you, a perpetuation of the spin used to discredit and dismiss the protests, but rather said he was sorry he’d been misunderstood.
“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,” Brees wrote.
He then went on to say he stands “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.” And that he acknowledges not enough has been done “to fight for … equality or to truly understand the struggle and plight of the black community.”
Great. Now put those words into action.