NEW ORLEANS, La. — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees took to social media on Thursday to state that he “does not support groups that discriminate … or promote inequality” after being criticized by homosexual advocates for recording an advertisement for Focus on the Family’s “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
Brees was addressing an article published by Big Easy Magazine with the headline “Drew Brees Records Video for Anti-LGBTQ Religious Organization.”
The piece stated that while it is not surprising that Brees would support Bring Your Bible to School Day as a Christian, the liberal publication found it “odd” for him to “support of a religious group known to be one of the most well funded anti-LGBT organizations in the country.”
“Focus on the Family supports and promotes the practice of ‘conversion therapy,'” the article, written by Editor-in-Chief Jenn Bentley, claimed. “Focus on the Family has also regularly fought against anti-discrimination practices protecting the LGBTQ+ community.”
She noted that Brees had previously recorded an anti-bullying video that was featured on The Ellen Show, and because of his position, he was once named Ellen’s “favorite quarterback.” Ellen DeGeneres is well-known as being a lesbian.
“[Focus on the Family] seems an odd group for a person who espouses those views to support,” Bentley opined.
She was referring to a short video posted to social media last Thursday in which Brees shared his favorite Scripture and encouraged youth to “live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day and share God’s love with friends.” The video is still accessible on Focus on the Family’s Facebook page.
Because of those questioning his decision to appear in the advertisement, Brees recorded a video stating that he believes loving one’s neighbor means accepting all and that he does not support groups that “discriminate” or “promote inequality.”
“There’s been a lot of negativity spread about me in the LGBTQ community recently based upon an article that someone wrote with a very negative headline that I think led people to believe that I was somehow aligned with an organization that was anti-LGBTQ,” Brees said. “I’d like to set the record straight.”
“I live by two very simple Christian fundamentals, and that is: Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself,” he outlined. “I think the first one is very self-explanatory. The second one, love your neighbor as yourself, what does that mean to me? That means love all, respect all, and accept all. So that is actually how I live my life.”
Brees said that he tries to live by that concept with “all people, no matter your race, your color, your religious preference, your sexual orientation [or] your political beliefs,” and that he was simply recording an advertisement encouraging youth to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day.
“So, I’m not sure why the negativity spread or why people tried to rope me in to certain negativity. I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality. Okay?” he said. “So, hopefully that has set the record straight and we can all move on because that is not what I stand for.”
According to Sports Illustrated, Brees later told reporters that he was not aware the ad was for an organization that was “lobbying for anti-gay, any type of messaging for inequality of any type of hate-type related stuff.”
“[The ad] was not promoting any group, certainly not promoting any group that is associated with that type of behavior. Because I know that unfortunately there are Christian organizations out there that are involved in that kind of thing, and to me, that is totally against what being a Christian is all about,” he asserted.
As previously reported, the popular fast food chain Chick-fil-A made similar remarks when it was criticized for donating to Christian pro-family organizations, which at one time included Focus on the Family.
“Recent coverage about Chick-fil-A continues to drive an inaccurate narrative about our brand,” the company said this past April. “We want to make it clear that our sole focus is on providing delicious food and welcoming everyone — not being a part of a national political conversation. We do not have a political or social agenda.”
“More than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand. We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Chick-fil-A further noted that it had discontinued giving to one charity “after a blog post surfaced that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all.”
“Brees compromised clearly,” Steve McConkey, founder and president of 4 Winds USA, told Christian News Network. “He not only said that Focus on the Family was a hate group, he said there are other Christian ministries that do the same thing. He talked about love being the reason he opposed such groups, but fails to realize that the Bible talks about love and truth going together like in 1 Corinthians 13:6.”