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Brees responds to Trump: 'We can no longer use the flag to turn people away'

Drew Brees posted a response to Instagram after the president criticized him for backing away from his previous comments about kneeling during the National Anthem.

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees has a message for the president after Donald Trump criticized him for apologizing for his comments on peaceful protests before NFL games.

The Saints QB posted to Instagram Friday night in a message titled "To President Trump."

"Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been," Brees said. "We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities."

President Donald Trump said Friday that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees should not have apologized for his comments on "disrespecting the flag" by kneeling during the national anthem.

"I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he's truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag."

Brees' full statement can be read below:

"To @realdonaldtrump

Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.

We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.

We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?

We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us."

Brees' apology comes after an interview with Yahoo! Sports in which he was asked to revisit Kaepernick's protest. Brees said that he supports people protesting police brutality but that the national anthem is not a proper forum.

RELATED: Brees on protest comments: 'I am sorry and I will do better'

RELATED: Drew Brees apologizes for national anthem kneeling comments

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