(CNSNews.com)- Speaking on “Fox and Friends” on Sunday, former NFL players Donovan McNabb, Erik Coleman and Chris Valletta defended New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees from the backlash against his video message encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school on “National Bring Your Bible To School Day.”
Last month, Focus on the Family released video featuring Drew Brees encouraging kids to “live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day” on Oct. 3 - prompting harsh criticism from LGBTQ activists opposed to traditional Bible-based beliefs on issues such as marriage and sexuality.
“I like the fact that he pushed back,” Erik Coleman, a former NFL safety for the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions said. “Here we are in an age where a quarterback of the NFL team promotes kids to bring bibles to school, promotes something positive and he gets crushed for it. I think it's a shame and I'm glad that he pushed back.”
Donovan McNabb, former quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings said, said that Brees is a role model who is actually “sending a good message” that deserves to be heard:
“This is a guy standing up for what he believes and I think we have to really look into a situation where it's much more than just a video that was sent. This is something that which a lot of people in New Orleans are looking at him as a role model, a guy that they’re trying to kind of put themselves in his shoes, and he's sending a good message. This isn't a bad message at all that he's sending and I think that we all need to look at it. If this is a national day he's trying to bring about and he's pushing it and promoting it, I really think we need to look into it.”
“I think Drew Brees is the model American athlete,” Chris Valletta, a former offensive lineman for the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers said:
“I mean we live in the land of offense right now where everything is being constructed to drive clicks, views, likes, shares. It’s actually ridiculous. I think Drew Brees is the model American athlete in my opinion. He represents the best of what's possible for just performance - and that's on the field and off-the-field. He lives these virtues of representing character and integrity and I think, actually, he's the type of athlete, especially in today’s professional game, that our kids need to be modeling themselves after, and I feel for him, but good for him he actually pushed back the way he did. I respect him greatly for that.”
On September 5, Brees posted a video on Twitter defending himself from the backlash, explaining that he lives “by two very simple Christian fundamentals”:
“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 neighbor as yourself. I think the first one is very self-explanatory. The second one, love your neighbor as yourself, what does that mean to me? That means love all, respect all, and accept all.
“So that is actually how I live my life. That is what I try to do with my family, with my teammates, with people in my community, with my friends, all people. No matter what your race, your color, your religious preference, your sexual orientation, your political beliefs, it doesn’t matter.
“So, the fact that these rumors have been spread about me, are completely untrue. What I did was I filmed a video recently that was encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school for national ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day.’ 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.
“So, I’m not sure why the negativity spread or why people tried to rope me into certain negativity. I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality. Hopefully, that set the record straight and we can all move on because that is not what I stand for.”