The debate show Shannon Sharpe appears on is designed to produce a lot of bold opinions, yelling and stirring up arguments.
But Sharpe’s words ripping Drew Brees on Thursday seemed to come from genuine emotion.
A day after Brees said he didn’t agree with disrespecting the flag during the national anthem, and many athletes including Brees’ New Orleans Saints teammates blasted him, Sharpe had his say.
On FS1’s “Undisputed,” Sharpe said he doesn’t respect Brees anymore, and that Brees should “probably retire.”
Shannon Sharpe: Drew Brees’ teammates ‘will never look at him the same’
Sharpe tweeted his comments about Brees, which lasted more than five minutes.
Most of the speech was an education about black members of the military, taking aim at Brees’ comment that his grandfathers fought in World War II.
“Did he know black men fought alongside his grandfather in World War II? Although in segregated militaries?” Sharpe said. “They were fighting in a foreign land for a freedom that when they came home, they did not enjoy like Drew Brees’ grandfathers did.”
Drew Brees should probably retire pic.twitter.com/61nuI7jjys— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) June 4, 2020
Sharpe brought up the point that nobody had talked about the flag or the military during the protests that followed George Floyd’s death. Brees brought up that argument, which is a relic from the misguided anger over Colin Kaepernick’s demonstration years ago, by himself.
Then Sharpe, a Hall of Fame tight end for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens and for decades a prominent voice of the NFL, said he thinks Brees should “probably go ahead and retire now” because his teammates will never respect him again.
“He issued an apology, but it’s meaningless,” Sharpe said on “Undisputed.” “The guys know he spoke his heart the very first time around. I don’t know what Drew is going to do, but he should probably go ahead and retire now. It will never be the same. Take it from a guy that has been a leader in the locker room for a number of years ... they will never look at him the same, because he spoke his heart.”
Sharpe will ‘never respect’ Brees
Sharpe has experience in this realm. He talked about being a leader when he was in the NFL. He was also involved in a locker room that could have been divided over race.
In 1997, his then-Broncos teammate Bill Romanowski spit in San Francisco 49ers receiver J.J. Stokes’ face. The league fined Romanowski just $7,500, and some Broncos players thought race was a factor in what they perceived as a light punishment. Romanowski is white and Stokes is black.
“I think that’s the worst thing you can do to a person, especially of our background and our race, is to spit in his face,” Sharpe said in 1998.
The situation was controversial, and Romanowski and Sharpe were far from friends after that. But the Broncos won Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. Romanowski played in the NFL through the 2003 season.
The situations aren’t an exact match. Brees will have a challenge mending relationships. Sharpe said, “I will never respect the man.”
“Drew, I don’t know what you were thinking, I don’t know what you hoped to accomplish, but whatever you hoped to accomplish, it failed miserably,” Sharpe said.
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