June 4, 2020 | 10:10pm
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees — who apologized on social media in a statement Thursday for his national anthem comments in the wake of George Floyd’s death — expressed his sorrow verbally in an Instagram post later in the day.
“I know there’s not much that I could say that would make things any better right now,” Brees said in the video. “But I just want you to see in my eyes how sorry I am for the comments that I made yesterday. I know they hurt many people, especially friends, teammates, former teammates, loved ones, people that I care and respect deeply.”
Brees — who struck a nerve with his comments on Wednesday about how kneeling during the national anthem is “disrespecting the flag” — said it was never his intention to be hurtful.
“I wish I would have laid out what was on my heart in regards to the George Floyd murder, Ahmaud Arbery, the years and years of social injustice, police brutality and the need for so much reform and change in regards to legislation and so many other things to bring equality to our black communities,” Brees said.
“I’m sorry, and I will do better, and I will be part of the solution. And I am your ally. I know no words will do that justice, that’s going to have to be [earned].”
Earlier, reaction to Brees’ initial apology was mixed in the sports community with some athletes saying it was too little or too late. But Saints teammates Michael Thomas, Demario Davis and Alvin Kamara were willing to forgive Brees and are looking to move forward.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes after Floyd was suspected of spending a counterfeit $20 bill.
The charges against Chauvin were upgraded on Wednesday. He now faces the more serious charge of second-degree murder, in addition to the original charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.
The other officers on the scene Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, are now being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.