Drew Brees' apology did not win over Shannon Sharpe. After a broad backlash, the Saints quarterback posted Thursday that he was sorry for saying that taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem was "disrespecting the flag." Sharpe called the change of heart "meaningless, because the guys know he spoke his heart the very first time around," TMZ reports. "Take it from a guy that has been a leader in the locker room for a number of years," Sharpe said. "What he said, they will never look at him the same because he spoke his heart." That goes for him, too, he said. "I will NEVER respect the man."
One player, Alejandro Villanueva of the Steelers, was less harsh. The left tackle said that when he spoke about the same issue in the past, his comments were taken out of context. "I'm gonna blame it on the media," Villanueva said, per Sports Illustrated. "The media is always trying to hyper focus things. Pit people against each other. The media is unbelievably divisive right now." Sharpe, a Hall of Famer who played 14 years in the NFL, said Brees "probably should just go ahead and retire now. He will never be the same." (Read more Drew Brees stories.)