The story behind Drew Brees' birthmark, and why he'll never get it removed

Drew Brees doesn't look like your typical NFL quarterback.

He's listed at a generous 6 feet tall, 209 pounds, while the average height of a pro quarterback is more like 6'3".

He also has a pretty big birthmark placed prominently over his right cheek.


Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.

There it is. Clear as day.

Still, it can be hard for people to wrap their heads around a celebrity having such a glaringly obvious "imperfection." The first time Oprah met Drew in person, she thought his birthmark was a lipstick smudge and tried to wipe it off.

AWKWARD! GIF from "Oprah."

Drew has been selected to nine Pro Bowls, led the league in passing yards five times, and, of course, was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.

Before he was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, though, he was just a kid who got made fun of for being different.

"Because of my birthmark, which I was obviously born with, I got all kinds of comments when I was a kid, about 'Wipe that whatever off your face.' ... All kinds of names. People would call me 'Spot,'" Drew told CNN.

"I think they were trying to be malicious. They were trying to be hurtful."

When he grew up and found his way to fame and fortune, he had a choice: have the birthmark removed or use it to send a message.

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.

Drew Brees has, to put it bluntly ... a lot of freaking money. He's currently in year four of a five-year, $100 million deal and will likely cash in again with an even bigger contract before his career comes to an end.

There's no question he could pay for the plastic surgery to have that birthmark removed for good and have plenty of money leftover to enjoy his recovery in a five-star resort on Neptune, if he wanted.

But for Drew, this option never even crossed his mind.

In his book, "Coming Back Stronger," he writes: "Instead of seeing it as a bad thing, I chose to see it as something that made me unique and special. It set me apart from everyone else. ... Now it's just a part of who I am. I wouldn't consider cutting off my arm. Neither would I cut off my birthmark."

As his career blossomed, Drew began using his platform to tell kids like him that they don't need to be ashamed of who they are.

"There's lots of kids that may have something that somebody is going to make fun of. Their name, the way they look, the way they talk, the way they laugh. And it's so unfair, but it's reality," he said during his interview with CNN.

And in 2010, he teamed up with the It Gets Better movement to put out a message.

"Making fun of someone because they're different from you? That's not being tough, it's being ignorant," he said. "I want my fans to know that if you're making fun of someone ... then you are no friend of mine."

Now fans go to Saints games with fake birthmarks — sometimes stickers, sometimes temporary tattoos, sometimes eye black — on their faces to show their quarterback some love.

Photo courtesy of David/All Southern Livery.

Life is pretty good as one of the NFL's top players. But every time Drew takes the field, he's showing kids all over the world that being different is good — and not only will it not hold you back from achieving whatever you want, it might even help you get there.

And as for whether he'll ever change his mind and have the mark removed?

He told TMZ, "As long as there's no health issues with it, then it stays."

Right on, Drew. Right on.

Here's Drew on CNN talking about the birthmark, dealing with his bullies, and how he used it as motivation to become great:

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sarita Linda Rocco / Facebook

Americans are more interested in politics than ever these days. More voted in the 2020 election than in any other in the past 100 years. Over 65% of the voting-eligible cast a ballot in the contentious fight between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

"People are very excited and paying attention even though there are all this bad news and high 'wrong track' numbers in the country," Nancy Zdunkewicz, managing editor at Democracy Corps, told The Hill.

It's wonderful to see that a greater number of Americans are standing up to be counted and demanding their voices be heard. But it's also the symptom of a deep level of discontent many people feel about their country.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Stone Gasman / Twitter

While generational stereotypes don't apply to everyone, there are significant differences between how Baby Boomers (1944 to 1964), Gen X (1965 to 1980), and Millenials (1981 to 1996) were raised.

Baby Boomers tended to grow up in homes where one parent stayed home and the other worked outside of the house. Millennials are known for having over-involved "helicopter" parents.

Then, there's Gen X.

The smaller, cooler generation that, according to a 2004 marketing study "went through its all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history."

Keep Reading Show less

The U.S. Surgeon General credits the new surge in COVID cases to "pandemic fatigue," but it's nothing compared to what healthcare workers on the frontlines are going through. TIME recently reported that nurses are experiencing burnout, but it often goes unseen. A nurse recently employed a social media trend to draw attention to the behind the scenes fatigue.

An ICU nurse posted her own "how it started/how it's going" photo on Twitter, and long story short, it's not going that great. The before photo of Kathryn, an ICU nurse in Nashville, was taken in the middle of April right after she completed nursing school. The after photo revealed just how much literal sweat and tears healthcare workers put in while treating people during the pandemic.


Keep Reading Show less