Drew Brees said he's not anti-LGBTQ and does not appreciate media outlets suggesting it was a bad idea to appear in a homophobic group's video. Instead, he believes they just want to spread negativity.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback faced severe backlash after appearing in a "Bring Your Bible to School Day" video produced by Focus on the Family.
A day after The Advocate picked up the story, first reported by Big Easy Magazine, Brees released a video distancing himself from homophobia but decrying anyone for suggesting he made a poor decision.
"There has been a lot of negativity spread about me in the LGBTQ community recently based on an article that someone wrote about me with a very negative headline that I think led people to believe that somehow I was aligned with an organization that was anti-LGBTQ," Brees said in the video.
"I'd like to set the record straight. I live by two very simple Christian fundamentals, and that is love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbors yourself."
He went on to say he believes all should be treated with respect and acceptance, regardless of race, religious preference, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.
But he said it's a complete mischaracterization to say appearing in a Focus on the Family video means he agrees with its homophobic agenda.
"What I did is I filmed a video recently that was encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school for national Bring Your Bible to School Day," he said. "To bring their Bibles to school to be able to live out your faith with confidence, and I even gave one of my favorite Bible verses. It was as simple as that."
Of course, a simple Google of Focus on the Family would reveal the extensive stance against LGBTQ rights advanced by the organization.
Founded by notable homophobe James Dobson, who in 2016 suggested killing trans people who use restrooms associated with their gender identity, the group has pushed for so-called religious freedom laws upholding businesses' rights to discriminate based on sexuality and gender identity.
The group has also defended so-called "conversion therapy" practices to turn gay people straight, and devotes a whole section of its website to "leaving homosexuality."
Brees later told reporters in a gaggle Thursday he had no knowledge of Focus on the Family's history.
"I was not aware of any of the things said about them lobbying antigay, hate type of messaging, or inequality or any type of hate type-related stuff. I was not aware of that at all."
He suggested outlets writing about the controversy were doing so "just to get hits, just to get views.
"Shame on them," he said. But he also said he was happy to bring fresh attention to Bring Your Bible To School Day, "so that's a good thing."