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What Drew Brees said at the ESPYS that got Dwyane Wade in trouble

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees won the ESPY Award on Wednesday night for best record-breaking performance. And as the football star stood to accept his award, he moved slowly down the line of family members next to him – embracing his wife and each of his three sons, before ascending the stairs to the stage.

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Drew Brees accepts the Record Breaker award onstage during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images

Once on stage, Brees — who leads all NFL quarterbacks in touchdowns and passing yards — set about thanking his wife further. 

"So many people to thank," he began. "First and foremost, I'd like to thank my wife, Brittany Brees. I love you so much. I fall more in love with you each and every day. Thank you for being on this journey with me. Couldn't do it without you."

Brees then went on to thank his teammates and the fans. He specifically shouted out Odell Beckham Jr. and Duke star Zion Williamson, welcoming him to New Orleans. He thanked Giants star running back Saquon Barkley, who won the ESPY award for best breakthrough athlete earlier in the night, for setting such a good example. And then, he praised the U.S. Women's National Team for their performance on and off the soccer field.

All in all, it was a lovely speech, executed without incident, if you don't count the smatterings of enthusiastic applause throughout. However, later in the night, when the time came to honor three living legends of sport for their historic careers which ended this year, the words of Brees' acceptance speech unexpectedly came up again.

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski took the stage with former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and former Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade to be honored, each delivering words of wisdom and short speeches of thanks. And when it was D-Wade's turn at the end of the line, he unpredictably turned the conversation to Brees.

"Before I start my speech, I have to say thank you to Drew Brees," Wade said. "Because of what you said to your wife on stage, my wife looked at me with the death stare – and said if I don't say something up here, the car ride home is going to be long."

The camera then flashed to Wade's wife, actress Gabrielle Union, in the audience, who laughed, tilted her head with sass and mouthed at the viewers at home, "It's true."

Dwyane Wade, Rob Gronkowski, Lindsey Vonn honored for historic careers | 2019 ESPYS by ESPN on YouTube

"With that being said," the NBA star continued onstage, "Darling, you are amazing. You look incredible in this dress."

Union laughed, feigning surprise at the compliments she seemingly strong-armed her husband into saying.

Then, before moving on to emotional sentiments about the game of basketball and how he learned to do more with his platform, the NBA legend offered one last genuine compliment to his wife: "I cannot wait 'til five years from now 'til I get a chance to marry you again."

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