New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees filmed a video for the lobbying group Focus on the Family but said Thursday that he was unaware the group has an anti-LGBTQ agenda.
”I was not aware of any of the things they said about them lobbying for anti-gay, any type of messaging, or inequality, or any type of hate-type related stuff,” Brees told reporters after blowback to his video where he promoted reading the Bible.
The video for “Bring Your Bible To School Day” is produced by Focus on the Family. The short video encourages people to read the Bible but has no political message. However, Focus on the Family has been one of the main anti-LGBTQ lobbying groups in the country for years. It is opposed to same-sex marriage, transgender rights and endorses conversion therapy, among others.
”The Bible leaves no room whatsoever for confusion or ambiguity where homosexual behavior is concerned,” the group says on its website. “The Scripture both explicitly and implicitly regards it as falling outside of God’s intention in creating man and woman as sexual beings who bear His image as male and female. ...
”As for same-sex ‘marriage,’ we see no place for it within the context of a Christian worldview.”
After the video appeared, Brees was met with headlines that noted Focus on the Family’s stance on LGBTQ issues. The reaction was strong enough that he released a Twitter video on Thursday saying he is not anti-LGBTQ.
Here’s the full Drew Brees video statement, as the Instagram version cuts off: pic.twitter.com/CEB6Tb3YBD— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) September 5, 2019
“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. 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 neighbors yourself. I think the first one is very self-explanatory. The second one, love your neighbors yourself, what does that mean to me? 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 beliefs, it doesn’t matter.
“So the fact that these rumors have been spread about me are completely untrue. What I did is I filmed a video recently that was encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school for national Bring Your Bible to School day. To bring their Bibles to school, to be able to live out your faith with confidence, and I even gave one of my favorite Bible verses. It was as simple as that.
”So I’m not sure why the negativity spread, or why people tried to rope me into certain negativity. I do not support any groups that discriminate or have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality. Hopefully that set the record straight and we can all move on, because that’s not what I stand for. Have a great day.”
I will accept Brees’ contention that he is not anti-LGBTQ and I suspect he would welcome a gay teammate. In 2010, for example, he appeared in an anti-bullying video for Ellen DeGeneres.
However, his professed ignorance of what Focus on the Family lobbies for is not acceptable. Big Easy magazine details the Brees has worked with the group since 2010, so he’s had nine years to figure out what it stands for.
Based on him saying, “I do not support any groups that discriminate or have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality,” Brees should demand his Bible video be removed and denounce Focus on the Family, since the group promotes exactly what he said he opposes.