New Orleans Saints

Saints season-ticket holder sues for refund over player protests during national anthem

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Chase Daniel (10) stands with his hand over his heart during the national anthem as other Saints players sit on the bench before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C.
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Chase Daniel (10) stands with his hand over his heart during the national anthem as other Saints players sit on the bench before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. AP File

A Morgan City man is suing the New Orleans Saints for a refund on his season tickets because some of the players have knelt during the national anthem this season.

Lee Dragna filed a lawsuit in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna on Monday seeking a refund for the tickets as well as attorney’s fees, claiming the protest of police brutality by some players has prevented he and his family from enjoying the games.

Dragna said he hasn’t attended a game since the first home game of the 2017 season against the New England Patriots, when he says some of the players did not come out for the singing of the national anthem.

“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, taking the position of fans who oppose the protest.

Kaepernick and a teammate, Baton Rouge native Eric Reid, began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest the shooting of unarmed African Americans by police. Kaepernick sat for the anthem during the first preseason game that year, though he and Reid knelt from the second game forward after talking with a former NFL player who was a Green Beret in the U.S. Army and deciding that kneeling would be more respectful.

A few weeks later, news of the protest broke, stirring controversy, though nothing on the scale it would achieve a year later when President Donald Trump began tweeting on the subject.

Trump’s commentary against players who kneel during the anthem created a spike in player protests, coming to a head in Week 3 when members of all 32 NFL teams protested in some form. Several members of the Saints sat during the anthem before their game against the Carolina Panthers. The team has since chose to kneel in unity before the anthem, and then rise to stand for it.

Dragna said he and other fans “do not find these protests entertaining.”

“If petitioner had known that Saints football players would use Saints football games as a platform for protests he would not have purchased the Saints season tickets.”

Read the full story at TheAdvocate.com.

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