Drew Brees addressed the controversy surrounding a promo video he shot for National Bring Your Bible to School Day Thursday.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback filmed an ad for the Oct. 3 event, which was created and promoted by an organization called Focus on the Family — a group that has held and taken anti-LGBTQ stances and actions since its inception.
Brees posted a video statement to his Twitter account discussing his involvement in the promo and then told members of the media at his weekly press conference he was “not aware of any” of the discriminatory practices of the group behind National Bring Your Bible to School Day.
“I was not aware of any of the things they said about them lobbying for anti-gay (causes)… any type of messaging or inequality or any type of hate-type related stuff,” Brees said. “I was not aware of that at all. And again, the video itself was just focused on National Bring Your Bible to School Day.
“It was not promoting any group, certainly not promoting any group that is associated with that type of behavior. Because I know that there are unfortunately 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.
“Being a Christian is love, it’s forgiveness, it’s respecting all, it’s accepting all, it’s everything that I said in the video that hopefully you guys saw and everybody else will so what a shame it is that people will make headlines just to get hits, just to get views and all of a sudden these rumors spread that are completely untrue. So shame on them.”
Brees said he recorded the video in order to encourage children to “to live out your faith with confidence.”
“I am encouraging young people to form their own relationship with Jesus and to hopefully model their life after some of the great teachings in the Bible,” Brees said.
Focus on the Family, the group behind National Bring Your Bible to School Day, has drawn backlash for it’s opposition to same-sex marriage and controversial practices including support of conversion therapy.
Brees reiterated Thursday afternoon that he only mentioned National Bring Your Bible To School Day in the promo along with his favorite Bible verse.
"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 as yourself," Brees said. "The first one is very self explanatory, the second one, love your neighbors as 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."