Saints quarterback Drew Brees defends himself amid online furor

NFL quarterback Drew Brees has defended himself after he was criticized for encouraging students to participate in a campaign organized by a Christian organization which has been branded anti-gay.

The Saints star posted a video backing Bring Your Bible to School Day, which was started by non-profit group Focus on the Family. 

The group has previously been attacked for endorsing ‘conversion therapy,’ the controversial practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation. 

The clip was slammed because it was backed by the group Focus on the Family, an organisation frequently accused of being anti-gay. The group has previously been attacked for endorsing 'conversion therapy,' the controversial practice of trying to change a person's sexual orientation

The clip was slammed because it was backed by the group Focus on the Family, an organisation frequently accused of being anti-gay. The group has previously been attacked for endorsing 'conversion therapy,' the controversial practice of trying to change a person's sexual orientation

The clip was slammed because it was backed by the group Focus on the Family, an organisation frequently accused of being anti-gay. The group has previously been attacked for endorsing ‘conversion therapy,’ the controversial practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation

In the first 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.’

But the initiative is led by the non-profit that has condemned homosexuality as a ‘sin’ described identifying as transgender a ‘violation of God’s design,’ CNN reported. 

After Brees was criticized online, he took to social media again to clarify his position on the group. 

In the video, Brees says: ‘I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality.’ 

He added: ‘Hopefully this sets the record straight with who I am and what I stand for.

‘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.’ 

Brees went to to say that his support of the campaign doesn’t mean he endorses ‘any type of hate,’ and that he was unfairly and mistakenly accused of being anti-gay. 

After Brees was criticized online, he took to social media again to clarify his support of the group

After Brees was criticized online, he took to social media again to clarify his support of the group

After Brees was criticized online, he took to social media again to clarify his support of the group

‘I know that there are, unfortunately, Christian organizations out there that are involved in that kind of thing,’ he said, according to ESPN

‘And to me, that is totally against what being a Christian is all about. Being a Christian is love, it’s forgiveness, it’s respecting all, it’s accepting all.’

A spokesperson for Focus on the Family said the organization is not a hate group.

‘Our goal is to say, ‘Jesus loves you, cares about you, no matter who you are — your race, your creed, your sexual orientation. Jesus died for every one of us.’ That’s the message we want to get out,’ Jim Daly said.  

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