Fewer than 24 hours after Drew Brees' controversial comments in an interview with Yahoo! Sports were unearthed, and amid widespread criticism aimed at the 41-year-old Saints quarterback, he has issued a public apology.

Brees, who when asked how he would feel about fellow NFL players protesting during the national anthem of NFL games in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police said he "will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," took to Instagram on Thursday morning to say he is sorry and to ask for forgiveness.

MORE: Malcolm Jenkins rips QB: 'Shut the f— up' sometimes

Below is Brees' complete apology:

I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.

In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.

This is where I stand:

I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference.

I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today.

I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.

I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement.

I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.

I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy.

I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening...and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.

For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

    View this post on Instagram         

I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening...and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Jun 4, 2020 at 5:22am PDT

After apologizing pe

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rsonally to teammates in a meeting Thursday, Brees posted another video apology later on Instagram.

"I am sorry, and I will do better, and I will be part of the solution, and I am your ally," he said.

    View this post on Instagram         

Step-by-step you will see my heart for exactly what it is and the way everyone around me sees it. I’m sorry it has taken this long to act and to participate in a meaningful way but I am your ally in this fight.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Jun 4, 2020 at 5:30pm PDT

Brees has been ripped not only by fellow NFL players for his comments, but also by LeBron James, among other prominent public figures. His own Saints teammates have expressed their displeasure, and chants of "f— Drew Brees" could be heard among protesters in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Brees in March signed a two-year extension with the Saints that is scheduled to pay him $50 million.