Protecting the Brees brand: How Drew Brees Said “Sorry” for his National Anthem Protest Comments

Doehler, Steph (2023). Protecting the Brees brand: How Drew Brees Said “Sorry” for his National Anthem Protest Comments. In: Rentner, Terry L. and Burns, David P. eds. Social Issues in Sport Communication: You Make The Call. New York, USA: Routledge, pp. 64–74.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003316763-8

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the image repair narrative of NFL star Drew Brees following his controversial comments opposing national anthem protests in 2020. Coming in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer, his remarks instigated an online backlash on Twitter. People criticized his lack of empathy for issues endured by Black citizens in the United States. Afterward, Brees released written and video apologies on social media to improve his image. This chapter applies Benoit’s image repair theory to demonstrate how Brees primarily used reducing offensiveness and mortification strategies to maintain the Brees brand.

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