Charles Barkley calls reaction to Drew Brees’ comments “overkill”

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As Saints quarterback Drew Brees has taken significant criticism this week for equating kneeling during the national anthem with disrespecting the country, not everyone thinks that criticism is fair.

Charles Barkley has spoken out in defense of Brees, saying that while he disagreed with Brees’s statement, he also disagreed with the extent to which Brees was criticized afterward.

“Drew’s original statement, I thought, was insensitive. It was very insensitive, especially during this time. But I thought the negative reaction from every talking head on television and some of his teammates was overkill. I never heard a bad word about Drew Brees in my life. He made a mistake. But we’ve gotten to the point in society where everybody on social media thinks they are God, judge and jury. Drew Brees made a mistake,” Barkley said on TNT.

“Drew Brees was wrong in his initial statement. But the level of vitriol, anger and things like that, I thought, was overkill. Drew Brees, whatever he said, he talked about the flag means different things to different people. But I thought the way he was portrayed on television and radio today was not fair at all. Drew Brees has done some amazing things in New Orleans, in his life. I’m not even talking about football. He made a mistake in a statement. For this level of, ‘We’ve got to kill everybody who says something we disagree with,’ I’m never going to go with the mob. I want to make it clear I did not like what he said right away, but the vitriol and animosity and hatred he got for the last 24 hours I thought was overkill.”

Barkley’s colleague Kenny Smith, however, said Brees deserves to be criticized.

“I was very offended by what he said,” Smith said. “I look at it as the definition of what we call white privilege. . . . It made it worse that it was Drew Brees, someone who we cheer for, who has teammates like us, that didn’t get us. Someone who is in the locker room every day. He doesn’t have the same excuse that some other people may have had.”

Brees has apologized twice, although he has not said whether he still holds the view that it’s disrespectful to the country to kneel during the anthem.

31 responses to “Charles Barkley calls reaction to Drew Brees’ comments “overkill”

  1. “I never heard a bad word about Drew Brees in my life. He made a mistake. But we’ve gotten to the point in society where everybody on social media thinks they are God, judge and jury.”

    Right on, one thing you can count on Barkley for is giving the straight goods, like it or not.

  2. The reaction to Brees’ comments was amplified due to what’s currently happening in our country. It was tone def, but Brees quickly acknowledged that.

  3. Brees might be greedy in the past, and only now has he been willing to take less money since he knows the end is near, but everyone is entitled to their opinion at the end of the day.

  4. Drew made a mistake? Did he? Give me a break. It was an opinion not a mistake. This is all garbage.

  5. Finally, a voice of reason. Drew Brees is not the problem here, people.

    And since when did kneeling during the anthem become the only acceptable form of protest? I seem to recall that there were only a handful of players who were doing it a few years ago and I don’t think anyone was doing it last year. Drew Brees has said why he wasn’t doing it. Why isn’t the mob going after everybody else?

  6. So…. I guess we can fully expect anthem protests back in the NFL in 2020?

    You’d think they learned the lesson from the ratings plummet in 2017. I’m pretty sure awareness of social justice could not possibly be any higher than it is now. Discussions are happening and the traditional and social media are completely saturated by it. So what are divisive protests really going to accomplish?

  7. Good for you Chuck! Some people won’t get it, and that’s okay. You will never get all of the people to get it no matter their celebrity.

    At the end of the day Drew is a person just like everybody else that has beliefs. We don’t need to agree with everybody. Continue to educate and help reform.You won’t get them all.

  8. I’ve come to have a grudging respect for Charles Barkley. I also can say I learned something reading the transcript of what the Saints safety said about Bree’s statement. We can all learn something, but give Brees a break, he has always been a stand up guy so there is no reason to think he was being a deliberate jerk.

  9. The world needs more Charles Barkley’s. Calls it as he see it, doesn’t care who likes it or not. A real stand up guy.

  10. Even Dennis Rodman spoke out in recent days to condemn the rioting/looting/violence. More black leaders need to do the same. Focusing on what OTHERS need to be doing without holding yourselves accountable diminishes the value of the message you’re trying to send and garner support for.

  11. Charles Barkley as a voice of reason is yet another sign of the upcoming end of the world… But it’s been a good ride thanks Charles for sharing

  12. joetoronto says:
    June 5, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Right on, one thing you can count on Barkley for is giving the straight goods, like it or not.


    Out of curiosity — if Barkley came out and bashed Brees like others were, would you be saying this?

  13. You can always count on Barkley to speak his mind and not bow to the herd mentaility.

  14. Drew Brees destroyed whatever goodwill he had with New Orleans. We now how he really feels. The Saints should terminate his contract and he should retire because just seeing Brees on the field is going to be hurtful to too many people.

  15. harrytootsie says:
    June 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm
    Lost a whole lot of respect for LeBron James in this also !

    I never had any for him in the first place.

  16. Do we want to live in a world where everyone is forced to have the same opinion?

  17. Thanks Charles for your honest OPINION and that’s what you gave just like Brees. Some people don’t like when people kneel, burn, rip, piss on it or whatever. Some people are ok with it and don’t care. Fine that’s choices we get to make and opinions we get to have But because it’s not liked doesn’t mean they don’t care for or hate the people that do or don’t support their cause or reason for doing it. This is where Ed Reed owes Brees an apology to claim that he want’s to keep the black man down. After saying you never heard a bad thing about Brees and people knowing all the charitable work he does for the Louisiana area the first thing Reed wants to do is portray him as a racist.

  18. Chuck is great. He’s great on TNT, he was great on that Woods/Brady golf telecast, and he’d probably be great on MNF.

  19. Charles Barkley, voice of reason.

    Voice of telling you exactly and honestly how he feels and thinks, absolutely no sugarcoating and not caring who agrees, who disagrees or who he pisses off in the process, sure. I know that Charles Barkley. I love that Charles Barkley.

    But Voice or Reason? That’s just a bonus.

  20. I love that Charles Barkley will always speak his mind, no matter if it fits a narrative or not…

  21. Honestly, if he said he no longer holds that belief, would you really believe him? Or would you believe it’s just a PR stunt?

    How about you just respect Drew’s beliefs and leave him alone.

  22. No one is ever woke enough to escape the finger pointing rage of cancel culture.

  23. All of the people who are adamant that Brees said nothing wrong and that it’s just an opinion, then surely Colin Kaepernick’s statements referring to cops and Pigs is also just an opinionz and therefore not wrong. Fwiw I think Kaepernick has made some mistakes, but the hypocrisy here is telling. Just like Laura Ingraham told Lebron to “shut up and dribble” while defending Drew’s right to free speech.

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