Former NFL coach Tony Dungy came to the defense of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his comments against insults to the American flag and the country.
Brees' statement was excoriated by many in the NFL, including some of his teammates on the Saints.
"We have to have Drew Brees saying what he said," said Dungy on the Pat McAfee show on Thursday.
"I don't, I don't downgrade Drew for that. OK, that's what he said. He may not totally understand, it may be not exactly the way he wanted to express it, but he can't be afraid to say that," he explained.
"And we can't be afraid to say, OK, Drew, I don't agree with you but let's sit down and talk about it, we can't just say anytime something happens and we don't agree with it, 'Hey I'm done with that and this person,' and that doesn't make sense," Dungy added.
'That's not gonna fix anything'
"We have to be better than that, this battle is not gonna be won by demonstrating and throwing bricks through windows, it's not gonna be won by the government saying, 'Hey we're gonna bring out these weapons and dominate the streets again,' " he continued. "That is not gonna fix anything."
He went on to explain how his past informed his opinion on the matter.
"My dad was a veteran, he would not have taken these protests as disrespecting the flag. He would have taken it as people trying to make the change in our great country for the better."
Brees originally said he would never agree with anyone disrespecting the American flag, but he later issued an apology for his statement after facing heavy backlash by those supported the kneeling protests.
"I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability," he concluded. "I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening... and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness."
Here's the video of Dungy's comments:
Tony Dungy "Brees Can't Be Afraid To Say That And We Can't Be Afraid To Say 'I Don't Agree With You" www.youtube.com