Drew Brees is standing by his participation in a promotional video linked to a Christian organization known to be anti-LGBTQ.
Focus on the Family, founded in 1977, invests in public education campaigns against LGBTQ equality, and promotes conversion therapy, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
According to a a sexuality Q&A on the Focus on the Family website, the organization sees “no place” for “same-sex ‘marriage’ … within the context of a Christian worldview.”
The football star’s video is specifically for Bring Your Bible to School Day, and appeared on the events’ platforms, but was also shared on Focus on the Family’s Facebook page.
After news broke of Brees’ involvement, he told reporters earlier this week, “I was not aware of any of the things they said about them lobbying for anti-gay, any type of messaging or inequality or any type of hate-type related stuff. I was not aware of that at all.”
Alongside a video shared to his Twitter account on Thursday, the father of four wrote, “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.”
In the clip, Brees tells viewers, “There’s been a lot of negativity spread about me in the LGBTQ community recently based upon an article that someone wrote … that lead people to believe that somehow I was aligned with an organization that was anti-lGBTQ. … I’d like to set the record straight.”
“I live by two very simple, Christian fundamentals: That is love the lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. I think the first one is very self-explanatory,” he continues, before explaining that the second “means love all, respect all, and accept all … all people, no matter your race, your color, your religious preference, your sexual orientation.”
Brees slams claims otherwise as “completely untrue.”
“I’m not sure why the negativity spread, or why people tried to rope me into certain negativity,” he says. “I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality. … That’s not what I stand for.”
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
The president of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly, responded to the backlash in a statement given to the Washington Post.
“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,” Daly said.
According to the outlet, he added, “We must treat everyone with love and respect. In 21st century post-Christian America, the best and only way forward is to not poke ideological opponents in the eye but find ways to acknowledge and respect our differences.”