Drew Brees has weighed in on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem.

Brees spoke with ESPN on Monday saying he felt compelled to speak out against Kaepernick's decision because it had been "bothering" him "all day long." Brees said he didn't have any issue with Kaepernick speaking out against racial injustice, but rather the way he went about the protest.

I disagree. I wholeheartedly disagree. Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there's plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn't involve being disrespectful to the American flag.

Brees doubled down on the fact that he believed Kaepernick had every right to speak openly, making it clear that he wasn't talking about any particular issues that Kaepernick was speaking on, but rather the fact that he doesn't believe the flag should be disrespected.

The great thing about this country is that we have the freedoms that allow you to speak out openly about any issue. So I'm not commenting on the issue itself, because any person has the right to speak out on any issue they want. That's the great thing about being an American. But the American flag is what represents those freedoms. It represents the very freedom that Colin Kaepernick gets the opportunity to exercise by speaking out his opinion in a peaceful manner about that issue. …Like it's an oxymoron that you're sitting down, disrespecting that flag that has given you the freedom to speak out.

Brees has openly spoken about both of his grandfathers who served in World War II and says the anthem still moves him every time he hears it.

I could shed a tear every time the national anthem plays if I would allow myself, because it's that powerful.

Brees' coach Sean Payton passed on expressing any personal opinions, saying his focus on preparing the team for the season was more important to him at this time.

Many on social media praised Brees for his stance on the topic, while others feel he contradicted himself by disagreeing with Kaepernick expressing himself freely while pointing out the flag that represents the freedom for him to do just that.

Regardless of how we feel about Kaepernick, or anyone when it comes to their stance on any particular issue—if the flag stands for freedom, and someone freely expresses their opinion or feeling about something, is there such a thing as right or wrong being that we are free to feel any way that we choose to feel about it?

So, in closing:

If you agree with Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the National Anthem because you feel the issues he is protesting about need to see real change—you're free to do just that.

If you DON'T agree with Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the National Anthem, regardless of whether or not you share his feelings on racism or any other social issues in America—you're free to do that too.

One thing is for sure, Kaepernick has definitely provoked conversation.

With that said—your thoughts?

[via ESPN]