Malcolm Jenkins on Wednesday lashed out at Saints teammate Drew Brees after the veteran quarterback made controversial comments about protests in the United States.
Brees sparked backlash by reiterating that he does not approve of people kneeling in front of the American flag during the national anthem. Brees was speaking out in the midst of protests over the death last week of George Floyd at the knee of a former Minneapolis police officer.
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Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd’s death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial inequality; Brees told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that he believes the gesture is disrespectful to those in the military, in particular his grandfathers who he said fought in World War II.
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Jenkins, who has returned to the Saints after winning a Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2018, lashed out at Brees in two Instagram videos (he deleted the first one).
“Our communities are under siege and we need help,” Jenkins said in the first video. “And what you’re telling us is don’t ask for help that way, ask for it a different way. I can’t listen to it when you ask that way. We’re done asking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those, and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem.
“And it’s unfortunate because I considered you a friend. I looked up to you. You’re somebody who I had a great deal of respect for. But sometimes you should shut the f— up.”
In the second video, a tearful Jenkins said: “Drew Brees, if you don’t understand how hurtful, how insensitive your comments are, you are part of the problem.
“To think that because your grandfathers served in this country, and you have a great respect for the flag, that everybody else should have the same ideals as and thoughts that you do is ridiculous.
“It shows that you don’t know history, because when our (black) grandfathers fought for this country and served, and they came back . . . they didn’t come back to a hero’s welcome. They came back and got attacked for wearing their uniforms. They came back to racism, to complete violence.
“Here we are in 2020 with the whole country on fire, everybody witnessing a black man dying, being murdered at the hands of the police, just in cold blood for everybody to see, the whole country’s on fire. And the first thing that you do is criticize one’s peaceful protest?”