New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke out against gun violence in the city on Monday following the tragic death of pass-rusher Will Smith who was shot and killed earlier this week following a minor car accident. Now, quarterback Drew Brees is joining him in the public discussion.
Speaking on WWL Radio on Monday, Brees explained how the news made him upset with the city of New Orleans and how people are treated.
“You know, there were so many emotions when I first heard what happened. And I’ll be honest with you, part of my emotions was I was angry. I was sad for New Orleans, and I also was angry at New Orleans. Because I feel like this is a problem that’s been around for a long time. And it’s not just New Orleans, it’s nationwide. It’s worldwide. It’s the way that people treat people. And somehow along the way, we’ve all become desensitized to the fact that this stuff happens every day and it’s OK, or we can kind of just move on from it as if it’s gonna happen and it’s part of the way things are and there’s nothing we can really do about it. And listen, it’s overwhelming.
Brees went on to discuss the epidemic of senseless murders by young men and said Smith’s murderer had no regard for the life he took. He said young men turn to violence when they don’t have proper guidance growing up and admitted that’s something that needed to change.
“And it’s not an easy process and it’s not an overnight fix. But that is something we can all band together and we can find ways to make sure that these young men know that there is hope. They do have opportunity. There are people that care about them. So they don’t have to feel like this is their only option. Because I feel like in a majority of these cases, these acts of violence and gun violence happen because these young men feel like they have no other option, and they don’t have any regard for the life they’re about to take or their own lives, or the consequences of it. I think we all need to take a really hard look at that.”
Brees should be applauded for speaking out. It’s not always easy for athletes like Brees to use their public platform to speak out on a controversial issue like gun violence.
Smith’s murder is still so fresh that his comments come off extremely raw, but it’s important to have a discussion on gun violence and why it continues to happen. There’s no immediate fix, but the more the public is comfortable talking about the topic as a whole, the more likely it is future crimes can be prevented and a solution can be found.