METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees gave an impassioned and defiant response Thursday to backlash he has received over a video he recorded to promote "Bring Your Bible to School Day."
The national campaign was started by Focus on the Family -- a Christian conservative group known for its anti-LGBTQ policy.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback said he was not aware the campaign was affiliated with any type of hateful or anti-gay messaging or lobbying that he has since read about. And he was irate that at least one article was written with a headline that said, "Drew Brees does video for anti-gay hate group."
"In the video, is there any mention of any group outside of just talking about national 'Bring Your Bible to School Day'? ... No, there wasn't," said Brees, who opened his weekly press availability Thursday by addressing the topic for five to six minutes. "It's not written anywhere on it. I don't say anything about it. The only thing I was promoting was encouraging kids to bring their bibles to school on national 'Bring Your Bible to School Day,' to live out your faith with confidence, and I gave my favorite bible verse. ...
"Why would they post something like that when it's not representative of anything that that video was about? And to do it to a person like me who is the antithesis of what they're trying to talk about? ... 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."
Brees, who has always been outspoken about his Christian faith, also recorded a video statement that he posted on social media shortly before his media session.
"I'd like to set the record straight," Brees said in the recorded statement. "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. The first one is very self-explanatory. The second one, love your neighbor 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. So the fact that these rumors have been spread about me are completely untrue. ...
"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."