Peter King uproar over ‘Lord of Flies’ reference in Drew Brees story

#Peter King uproar over ‘Lord of Flies’ reference in Drew Brees story

June 8, 2020 | 1:36pm | Updated June 8, 2020 | 1:42pm

Sure, Drew Brees was on a (metaphorical) island.

The rest of this comparison seems imperfect at best.

A source close to Brees told NBC Sports’ Peter King that seeing the New Orleans Saints quarterback blasted from all corners of social media reminded him of the book “Lord of the Flies.”

The comparison struck the wrong chord with some readers and King responded to feedback by removing the note. The longtime NFL reporter tweeted: “I am removing the reference to ‘Lord of the Flies’ upon hearing from so many who found it offensive. I apologize for using it. I understand why some are hurt by it. You should be. I’ll be more conscious about the full meaning of analogies. Thanks for keeping me honest.”

In that 1954 novel, a group of adolescent British boys are stranded on an island and try to survive without adult supervision or government until they can be rescued. An anarchical power struggle ensues feeding off the fear of the unknown beast creature, factions of the formed society break off and two boys are killed amidst savagery.

The three removed sentences from King’s column read, “As one person close to Brees told me, the social-media rip jobs reminded him of ‘Lord of the Flies.’ In that book, normal British boys get stranded on a desert island and have to fend for themselves, and they spiral into savagery to survive. Sounds about right.”

Drew Brees, Peter King Lord of the Flies
Drew Brees, Peter KingGetty Images; Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In today’s society there are both peaceful and violent protests happening around the country after a Minneapolis police officer was charged with murdering George Floyd by pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck over pleas to stop.

Brees said last week he disagrees with anyone who kneels in protest during the national anthem because he thinks of his two grandfathers fighting for the United States armed forces during World War II.

The comments continued the ongoing misinterpretation of the protests started by Colin Kaepernick and popularized by other NFL players to bring awareness to police brutality and racial injustice in America, not to disrespect the flag and wartime sacrifices.

An avalanche of criticism immediately befell Brees faster than anyone could manage, with stars Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins harshly rebuking their white teammate on social media.

The NFL’s career leading in passing yardage and touchdowns became an instant poster boy for the problem in the tone-deaf league – until commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement Friday condemning racism, admitting a mistake in not listening to concerned black players sooner and encouraging peaceful protests.

Brees and his wife both apologized, and Brees wrote on Twitter to President Donald Trump about his changed stance – the result of education through conversation with black teammates – after Trump criticized the quarterback for his reversal.


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