There was almost no team that didn’t protest the national anthem by bending the knee, and the New Orleans Saints were no exception. As a result, a Louisiana lawmaker is taking drastic measures against the players who engaged in this ugly practice and strip them off the one thing they care for.
The weekend was lit on fire as numerous NFL teams took a strong approach against the national anthem and refused to stand, following into Colin Kaepernick’s earlier footsteps. President Trump could not have been more serious when he commented all those who disrespected the country should be fired at once.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.’ Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” the POTUS noted.
One of the teams that expressed their revolt with the national anthem as well, was The New Orleans Saints.
“I would say, personally, I am disappointed in the comments that were made,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. “I think we need a little bit more wisdom in that office. That’s being a little blunt, but that’s how I feel. I want that guy to be one of the smarter guys in the room, and it seems like every time he’s opening his mouth, it’s something that is dividing our country and not pulling us together,” he continued.
Some teams, including the Saints and Pelicans, issued a statement, pointing out Trump’s words were “disappointing and inappropriate.” One player even remained in the locker room while the anthem was playing. We’re talking about Terron Armstead.
Rafael Bush, Kenny Vaccaro, Chris Banjo, Sheldon Rankins, Alex Okafor, Cameron Jordan, Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, Brandon Coleman, and Mark Ingram remained seated as the anthem commenced, while Thomas Morstead, Marshon Lattimore, Craig Robinson, and Coby Fleener locked arms and stood proudly as the anthem was playing.
“I am proud of every one of them,” coach Payton said.
On Monday, Louisiana State Rep. Kenny Havard (R-St. Francisville) vowed to cut millions of state tax dollars, going to the Saints, the NFL, and related groups.
“The very reason (the Saints) have the privilege and opportunity to play professional football while being paid millions is because someone in uniform died protecting their right to do so,” Havard said. “It is a disgrace to the men and women of this nation and state who have sacrificed so much,” he continued.
“Disrespecting our national anthem and flag in the name of social injustice is the highest form of hypocrisy,” added Havard. “Our free society made possible by our fighting men and women has made available free education, free lunch, housing, and free healthcare and is now being considered socially unjust,” he said. “It is time the taxpayers quit subsidizing protest on big boy playgrounds. I believe in the right to protest but, not at a taxpayer-subsidized sporting event. Do it on your own time. There are plenty of disabled children, elderly and veterans in this state that would appreciate the money.”
A 2015 Forbes report suggests the Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson was “set to rake in an estimated $392 million from state subsidies through 2025.” In time of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome lease “the state will pay Benson at least $198 million in increased revenue from the Superdome, $142 million in rental payments on property Benson owns, $10 million in bonuses for bringing the Super Bowl to New Orleans and $2.6 million in tax breaks. Benson will get another $40 million from private rent payments to a tower he bought as part of the deal.”
Havard has a strong point. Billionaire teams that made decent human beings of their players, should not be excused for actions of this sort. Paying them would be adding more fuel to the fire and causing massive issues with other players who decided to express their patriotism for a change.
We’re in the middle of a mountain-high rollercoaster which doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. It is only sad we’re witnessing the American-on-American hatred growing in front of our eyes, which makes the country’s worth before the world seriously ridiculous.
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