Ben Watson, an NFL tight-end and former Saints teammate of Drew Brees, believes that the backlash Brees has faced over his involvement with Focus on the Family has been unfair.
Controversy arose last week after a video of Brees encouraging children to participate in ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ went viral. The NFL quarterback partnered with the Christian organization Focus on the Family to promote the Day, which led to media outrage over their views on traditional marriage.
Watson, who appeared on “Fox & Friends,” explained to host Laura Ingram that Bree’s involvement with the ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ was, and is, important.
“Well, I think what’s going to last is the children that have been encouraged by Drew Brees, one of their heroes, to bring their Bibles to school,” Watson responded after Ingram asked if he thought the controversy would last. “And not only bring their Bibles to school but to tell people about their faith.”
When asked about the media coverage of the video, he pointed out how misleading it was to label Focus on the Family and Brees as hateful.
“The article itself was misleading,” he said of the coverage regarding the ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day.’ “The mischaracterization of Focus on the Family and of Drew was slanderous. So my response was to stop lying with those sorts of labels.”
“What Focus on the Family does is it upholds marriage,” he said. “Families are the basic building blocks of society.”
Later in the show, he pointed out that “[t]his back and forth” regarding the LGBTQ movement and the beliefs of the religious community “is not going to end any time soon.”
“I think it’s incumbent upon people who have been attacked, people that are in the religious community to say, ‘Well, you know what, we’re being attacked as ‘anti.’ Maybe we need to love more. Maybe we need to express our beliefs in a way that’s not as condemning more. We need to continue to reach out and prove that these things aren’t true,’” Watson concluded.
According to Watson, a tight end for the New England Patriot’s, the controversy that arose following Brees involvement with a ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ video is uncalled for.
Last week, a video went viral of Brees encouraging children to bring their bibles to school to celebrate ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day.’
“Hey guys,” Brees says in the video, “one of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”
“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,” Brees adds. “You’re not alone.”
Following the video attention, Out Magazine wrote an article titled, “NFL Quarterback Appears in Commercial for Anti-Gay Extremists,” and Big Easy Magazine wrote, “Drew Brees Records Video for Anti-LGBT Religious Organization.”
“Focus on the Family supports and promotes the practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ which uses a combination of shaming, emotionally manipulative and traumatic stimuli, and physically painful stimuli in order to ‘cure’ LGBTQ+ people of their sexual orientation,” Jenn Bentley of Big Easy Magazine wrote.
Big Easy Magazine went as far as starting a hashtag on twitter, “SaintsDontHate,” in order to raise awareness of Bree’s involvement with Focus on the Family.
The Saints quarterback eventually took to Twitter to respond to the mass-criticism, and weigh in with his own thoughts.
“Hopefully this sets the record straight with who I am and what I stand for,” Bree’s wrote on Twitter. “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.”
“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,” said Brees in his video.
“So I’m not sure why the negativity spread, or why people tried to rope me into certain negativity,” he added. “I do not support any groups that discriminate, or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality. Okay? So hopefully that has set the record straight, and we can all move on because that is not what I stand for.”