Drew Brees is facing backlash for promoting ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ campaign with the Christian evangelical organization Focus on the Family, which liberal media outlets have labelled as “anti-gay”.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback appeared in a video in which he encourages children to participate in the Oct. 3 event. The 22-second clip shows Brees quoting one of his favorite verses in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight” to promote the annual event that celebrates religious freedom and “share God’s love with their friends.”
“So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on ‘Bring your Bible to School Day’ and share God’s love with friends. You’re not alone,” Brees says in the video.
Immediately, media outlets took notice that the organization he partnered with promotes traditional marriage and an anti-LGBTQ religious group which uses “conversion therapy” to “cure” the LGBTQ+ people of their sexual orientation.
Big Easy Magazine especially pointed out that the group “uses a combination of shaming, emotionally manipulative and traumatic stimuli, and physically painful stimuli.” The publication expressed its intent to make the hashtag “SaintsDontHate” to become viral to raise awareness about Brees’ partnership with Focus on the Family.
— Big Easy Magazine (@bigeasy_mag) September 3, 2019
Commentators chimed in with their respective criticisms for Brees.
Come on Drew, do your job(s):football/parenting. As someone w/the same birthday, I expect your spiritual concepts 2 remain personal, especially since the group you spoke for is so controversial. How will your teammates/fans respond when some of them represent an unaccepted group?
— Bonnie Keller (@TheNOLAHermit) September 3, 2019
It is also an organization that publishes books that recommend beating children. They have a horrific record in supporting parental abuse of children.
— kat huff (@Dakinikat) September 3, 2019
Other media outlets, including Newsweek and Out Magazine, wrote article headlines directly aimed at Brees’ partnership with Focus on the Family.
“Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints Quarterback, Records Video Produced by Anti-Gay Group Focus on the Family,” Newsweek wrote, while Out Magazine wrote, “NFL Quarterback Appears in Commercial for Anti-Gay Extremists.”
Regardless of the hate and criticisms, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly thanked Brees’ participation in the “Bring Your Bible to School Day” promotion. He expressed his appreciation that the NFL quarterback used his Christian faith and encouraged others to “live out their faith” through the event.
Hopefully this sets the record straight with who I am and what I stand for. Love, Respect, and Accept ALL. I encourage you not to believe the negativity you read that says differently. It’s simply not true. Have a great day. pic.twitter.com/4RdTahE7EZ
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) September 5, 2019
Meanwhile, Brees has since commented on the criticisms on Twitter and questioned all the negativity especially since what he did was to encourage students to bring their Bibles to school and to “be able to live out your faith with confidence.” He added that he doesn’t “support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality” because that’s not what he stands for.