New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has responded to a torrent of criticism, after his appearance in a video for the Christian organization Focus on the Family.
Brees filmed a video in which he helped promote a Focus on the Family initiative called “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” In the video, Brees encouraged children to, “Live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
However, an intensely critical article from Business Insider labeled Focus on the Family an “anti-LGBTQ group.” This, despite the fact that nowhere in Brees’ video did he mention LGBTQ people, or issues.
In the BI piece, author Alexandra Licata blasts Focus on the Family for their support of “discredited” conversion therapy for homosexuals.
Licata also took shots at Focus on the Family for their stance on transgender issues.
“The organization also believes ‘the modern ‘transgender’ movement is systematically working to dismantle the reality of two sexes,’ which they say will cause ‘striking consequences for individuals, marriage, family, children and society at large,’” Licata wrote.
After hearing of the article, and the harsh criticism of his involvement with Focus on the Family, Brees took to social media to say that he is not anti-LGBTQ. The Saints quarterback also made clear that his intent was merely to support “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
Brees also makes frequent mention of his strong Christian faith and how it commands him to love all people:
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 somehow I was aligned with an organization that was anti-LGBTQ and so on and so forth.
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.
I think the first one is very self-explanatory. The second one, love your neighbor as yourself, what does that mean?
It means, love all, respect all and accept all. So, that is actually how I live my life. That is what I try to do with my family, with my teammates, with people in my community, with my friends, all people. No matter your race, your color, your religious preference, your sexual orientation, your political [views].
Brees reinforced that stance, to reporters later in the day.
Drew Brees when asked about if he knew what Focus on the Family stood for.. pic.twitter.com/5WG6CwEEqO
— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) September 5, 2019