A New Orleans Saints season ticket holder is suing the team over some of its players protesting during the national anthem.
Lee Dragna, of Morgan City, Louisiana, alleged the players, who either refused to come out of the locker room or took a knee during the national anthem, prevented his family from enjoying Saints games. He is seeking a refund for his season tickets, which cost around $8,000, and attorneys’ fees.
A Saints spokesman declined to comment, saying the suit is being reviewed by the team’s legal counsel.
Mr. Dragna said in the lawsuit that football fans “do not find these protests entertaining.” He claims that he has refused to attend any home games since the season opener on Oct. 17 against the New England Patriots. It was prior to that game, he alleged, some players would not take the field for the singing of the national anthem.
When the players did come out, Mr. Dragna said, they passed directly in front of him and “many of the fans in that area” booed, and spilled beer on players. Those actions created a “borderline dangerous” environment created by the Saints for condoning the protests, he said in court papers.
“Apparently these players were following the lead of (former San Francisco 49ers quarterback) Colin Kaepernick by disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the USA and those who have served and are serving the USA in our military,” he said of the Saints players.
The rowdy, angry mob of fans have made his season tickets unusable by him and his family and business clients won’t even take the tickets.
Mr. Kaepernick started the protests in 2016, when he began kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality. Players have continued to kneel through this season even after they were blasted by Donald Trump after members all of 32 NFL teams protested in some form.
Mr. Trump urged the government to end the use of tax-exempt municipal bonds used to build or renovate NFL stadiums.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also took a swipe at the protests last month. Speaking at a conference, he said the league considered implementing a rule forcing players to stand, but it didn’t get much support from owners. Mr. Goodell added that players should stand for the national anthem.
“People come to our stadiums to be entertained, have fun, not be protested to,” Mr. Goodell said, according to the New York Post.
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