Former NFL Executive: Drew Brees “Has A Lot Of Work To Do”

Brees apologized for his comments about racial injustice, but will his teammates fully welcome him back into the fold?

June 05, 2020 - 8:18 am
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Saints quarterback Drew Brees issued a lengthy apology Thursday morning after making insensitive comments about racial injustice in America. Brees had stated that he stands with teammates in the fight “for racial equality and justice,” but added that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”

Several Saints teammates, including Malcolm Jenkins and Michael Thomas, criticized Brees for his remarks, which drew the ire of the sports world at large.

How might these comments impact the Saints’ 2020 season?

“That locker room will have a different dynamic now,” legal expert and former NFL and NBA executive M. Quentin Williams told JR SportBrief. “Of course he expressed his sorrow for what he said, but it does reveal the way he felt. Because [when] you reveal something like this at this stage, it’s very painful, as many players have spoken out. He has a lot of work to do in order to earn the trust of that locker room again, and frankly, I don’t know how long that will take to happen. Drew doesn’t have forever to play. He’s 40-something years old, so he doesn’t have a long time to play. I don’t know if he has enough runway to earn the locker room back fully.”

Aside from Brees’ comments, the Saints – and every NFL team – will also have to contend with the coronavirus this fall. Williams has serious doubts about how the season will unfold.

“It’s a contact sport,” he said. “They have to make it safe and healthy. If it’s not safe and healthy, and if somebody gets sick and because this virus can spread so quickly, that means we can infect a whole locker room very quickly. So you got to make sure everybody is safe and healthy. There have to be protocols in place to ensure that that’s going to happen. . . . [But I’m] not confident that it’ll happen without a hitch. It’s something that we cannot predict. We don’t have enough of a handle on it to be able to say we can isolate certain segments of society and everybody else will be all right.”

There is also, of course, no vaccine. 

“We haven’t gone through the cycle of this thing in order to have confidence that we can defeat it,” Williams said. “We’re all playing this day by day. That is what is very off-putting for many people: the lack of knowledge for what to expect. So we could start it up and then we could have a second wave and that will quickly shut everything down. Government will step in, and government will tell you, ‘You’re closed down.’ That’s not a good situation for everybody.”