NFL quarterback Drew Brees is defending himself after he appeared in a video tied to a conservative Christian organization, which sparked a wave of criticism on social media.
The controversy began when the New Orleans Saints star appeared in a promotional video for “Bring Your Bible to School Day” last week.
In the video, which was posted to a YouTube channel named “Bring Your Bible,” Brees said, “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. You’re not alone.”
CNN emailed Focus on the Family for comment but hasn’t heard back.
On Thursday, Brees spoke out to say it was “completely untrue” that he supported the organization.
“I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas trying to promote inequality,” he said in a video he tweeted Thursday. He told reporters Thursday he “was not aware” that the group is associated with anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
“Unfortunately there are Christian organizations out there that are involved in that kind of thing, and to me that is totally against what being a Christian is all about,” he said in a locker room interview. “Being a Christian is love. It’s forgiveness. It’s respecting all, it’s accepting all.”
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly told the Washington Examiner the group appreciated the quarterback’s “ongoing support” for the initiative, and said, “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.”