“I was not aware of any of the things said about them lobbying antigay, hate-type of messaging..."
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees claims he had no idea that the Focus On the Family organization was an anti-LGBT organization after he was featured in one of their videos for a “Bring Your Bible To School Day” promo.
The athlete called media organizations to the carpet for reporting on the story and spreading negativity reports about him reports The Advocate.
After the story broke, many chastised Brees for endorsing the pro-family organization by association.
In a video posted to Twitter, Brees addresses his followers about why he did the video.
“There has been a lot of negativity spread about me in the LGBTQ community recently based on an article that someone wrote about me with a very negative headline that I think led people to believe that somehow I was aligned with an organization that was anti-LGBTQ,” Brees explains.
He adds: “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 as yourself.”
Brees then goes on to say he respects all, no matter your "race, your color, religious preference, sexual orientation, your political beliefs, it doesn't matter.”
He explains his motivations for appearing in the piece.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Focus On The Family was founded by James Dobson who has had a long history of anti-LGBT rhetoric, including calling for the deaths of trans people who use restrooms that align with their gender identity. He's also a firm backer of religous freedom laws and conversion therapy programs.
Brees talked to reporters on Thursday emphatically saying his only reason for appearing in the video was to endorse kids bringing their Bibles to school.
“I was not aware of any of the things said about them lobbying antigay, hate-type of messaging, or inequality or any type of hate-type related stuff. I was not aware of that at all.”
the original video doesn't mention Focus On The Family, but there is a link below it directing viewers to their website.
Here is the original video: