NFL star Drew Brees's video asks children to take bible to school, faces LGBTQ backlash
The New Orleans Saints quarterback has defended himself saying he was not aware of video-maker Focus on the Family's stance on gay rights.
National Football League (NFL) star, Drew Brees, on September 5, defended himself after he shot a video promoting Take Your Bible to School Day by an anti-LGBTQ organization, saying he was not aware of their stance on gay rights.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback, while addressing reporters after practice, said: "I was not aware of any of the things they said about them lobbying for anti-gay, any type of messaging for inequality of any type of hate-type related stuff. I was not aware of that at all," according to WWL-TV.
Prior to his statement, the player had also tweeted his response to recent articles highlighting that the video featured by Focus on the Family, a Christian group, has an infamous record of opposing gay lifestyles.
In the 20-second video, Brees talks about his favorite Bible verse, and children embracing the Take Your Bible to School Day, which is on October 3. "So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day and share God’s love with friends. You’re not alone," Brees says in the video.
The group, Focus on the Family, is known for promoting gay conversion therapy, where LGBTQ people are urged through classes and training to convert to a more Christian way of life. The American Psychiatric Association has discredited the practice of the group.
One Twitter user slamming the player's video, wrote: "Sigh. @drewbreesI adore you. But you missed the point in your instagram PSA. People don't think you're homophobic. But by supporting and cheesing with an organization that goes out of its way to oppress people who don't fit into their box you are then supporting homophobia."
While another wrote: "Wow @drewbrees I did not suspect you supported homophobia and bigotry but here you are. This group is the opposite of Christian."
The Focus on the Family president, Jim Daly, while talking to Fox News about Brees' participation, said that he had "deep respect" and gratitude for the outspoken Christian athlete. "His influential voice helps to amplify the overarching theme of the event," Daly said adding, "that respectfully sharing and expressing your faith powerfully demonstrates God’s love in a world that’s in desperate need of hope and healing.”
The football player, after receiving criticism from the LGBTQ community and media, said the coverage of his video was not fair and was not "representative of what the video was about." Brees added that he believes in supporting everyone.
"The only thing I was promoting was Bring Your Bible to School Day. Let my actions speak louder than any of my words," the player told the reporters. The player, who has appeared in multiple anti-bullying videos and promotions, has been very vocal about his Christian faith.