You Can Bet on Whether Drew Brees Will Kneel or Stand for Week 1 Anthem

Cameron Smith

In a matter of days, Drew Brees put his foot in his mouth, then removed it by chastising the President of the United States, among others. Soon we'll get to see if Brees will put his money where his mouth really is.

Brees' stance that he would not kneel during the national anthem as a matter of respect for the flag was based on his own beliefs, but came across as universally tone deaf. He realized that after speaking with current and former teammates including Malcolm Jenkins and Ben Watson. Then, when President Donald Trump tweeted that Brees should have stood his ground, Brees himself issued a proclamation explaining why the President was missing the point. It was quite an about face.

In fact, it was such a shift that the sportsbooks are now taking bets on whether Brees will stand or kneel during the first national anthem of the season, before Week 1. Here's what the early lines look like:

BREES' NATIONAL ANTHEM OUTCOME
ODDS
Stand
-900
Kneel
+500
Hand on teammate's shoulder
-155
No hand on teammate's shoulder
+115

The fact that Brees' odds of kneeling are even that close is an absolutely remarkable turn of events. Yes, it still seems a very long shot given Brees' initial statement and core belief, but his immediate shift and alleged despondency over how tone deaf his interview with Yahoo Finance was has given the impression that anything is possible when it comes to his next move.

As for placing a hand on a shoulder, the odds on that should be much higher than they currently sit. Such a move has been widespread in recent seasons, and the number of all races who have come out in support of African American teammates means that there is likely to be widespread adoption of the practice during the 2020 season, whether or not players kneel.

That means that there's not really much value with either of the lines regarding hands on shoulders, at least until they move more after money comes in on one side. Intuition would assume that would be for team "hand on shoulder," but until it lands anyone's guess is as good as the next.

The real money comes down to just how embarrassed you think Brees is about the entire farrago of the past week. If he really means what he's writing now, it wouldn't be a total shock to see him kneeling on a sideline come Week 1.