A video shared online appears to show former NFL quarterback Drew Brees being struck by lightning while filming a commercial in Venezuela, which was apparently all part of an advertising campaign.
The video was shared by Rafael Hernández at 12:00 a.m. on Friday (December 2).
"@DrewBrees was struck by lightning in Catatumbo while we were recording a commercial south of Lake Maracaibo. It happened a few hours ago. More information shortly," Hernández wrote in a translated tweet.
PointsBet, the sports betting company that Brees was filming an advertisement for, initially issued a statement in response to the viral video.
“We are aware of the media coverage regarding PointsBet brand ambassador Drew Brees," the company said via ProFootballTalk. "We are in communication with Brees’ team and will continue to monitor events throughout the coming hours. At this stage we will not be making any further comment.”
The company later shared a video of Brees inside an ambulance confirming that he was "alive and well" and mentioned that Catatumbo was the most active hot spot for lightning strikes in the world before saying he was "buzzing" over PointsBet's weekend offer.
Brees then casually walked out of the ambulance and said he was going "back to set to finish this commercial" and added, "hopefully lightning doesn't strike twice," before animations showed him being shocked.
ESPN Saints reporter Katherine Terrell also said she texted Brees amid concerns over the initial video Friday morning and he confirmed "that he did not get struck by lightning."
Brees announced his retirement in March 2021 after 20 NFL seasons, including 15 with the New Orleans Saints, leading the franchise to its only Super Bowl victory in 2009 and rallying the city in its post-Hurricane Katrina revival.
The former second-round draft pick finished his playing career as the NFL's all-time leader in career passing yards (80,358) -- a record later broken by Tom Brady in 2021 -- and second in touchdown passes (571) and completion percentage (67.7%.)