Drew Brees is standing firm in his apology over the comments he made about the American flag and kneeling during the national anthem he made earlier this week.

The longtime NFL quarterback received criticism from President Donald Trump this week after Brees apologized for insensitive comments over players kneeling during the national anthem. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees stated that he “will never agree with anyone who disrespects the flag.”

Brees later issued an apology for his comments. That received some criticism from Trump. On Twitter, the president said “”OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high . We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!”

After seeing President Trump’s message, Brees fired back a message himself, standing by his apology. He posted the note on Twitter and Instagram:

To @realdonaldtrump

Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.
We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.
We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?

We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

Brees received support from his teammates after sending the message.