On Thursday, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees posted a video to social media in response to left-wing media attacks smearing him as anti-LGBT for appearing in a video produced by the Christian group Focus on the Family that promotes national "Bring Your Bible To School Day."
"There’s been a lot of negativity spread about me and the LGBT 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," started Brees.
"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 neighbor as yourself," he said.
"That means love all, respect all, and accept all. So that is actually how I live my life," continued Brees. "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."
"What I did was I filmed a video recently that was encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school for national 'Bring Your Bible to School Day' … 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 really not sure why the negativity spread," he explained.
"I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality," Brees added.
"Join Drew Brees as he encourages students to 'live your faith and share God’s love' on #BringYourBible to School Day, Oct. 3. Click below to learn how your voice can be counted," Focus on the Family posted to Facebook on August 29.
The media have maligned Focus on the Family for not supporting same-sex marriage and for recognizing homosexuality and premarital sex as immoral, interpreting the Christian group’s biblically based positions as a hatred for LGBT folks.
"It's unfortunate that mean-spirited antagonists have attempted to draw attention away from this event by mischaracterizing the beliefs and positions of our organization," Focus on the Family leader Jim Daly told The Washington Post.
Brees, however, received supportive comments from other athletes. Former Saint teammate Reggie Bush, for example, commented: "Anybody who doubts Drew Brees' character or believes bogus headlines about this man does not know him period! He is one of the best human beings I have ever met and a true leader and man of God!"
"Amen, preach Drew!" said Detroit Lions QB David Blough.
Baltimore Raven Mark Ingram, Jr. wrote, "Ain't easy being breezy!! Let 'em know.”
"Drew is the wrong guy to receive attacks about character and integrity. I’ve known him for over 15 years and he is nothing but loving and respectable to everyone he encounters. I've never seen him do anything but go far and above to extend grace and honor to everyone he encounters," said pastor and retired NFL player Miles McPherson.