The NFL has received its first lawsuit against one of its teams over the protests during the National Anthem. A season-ticket holder has sued the New Orleans Saints and is requesting a refund of his ticket cost and attorneys’ fees because of the players who have kneeled before the national anthem at home games and sat during the anthem before a Week 3 road game.
Lee Dragna, the fan that filled the lawsuit, says in the lawsuit that he bought the tickets for the “entertainment and intellectual enjoyment” of himself and his family and that he never would have bought them if he had known that players would “use Saints football games as a platform for protests.” The suit says Dragna has not attended a Saints home game since week 2.
Of course the Saints have declined to comment, saying that they have turned the matter over to their legal department. But according to a source in the Saints’ organization they are “taking this very seriously and this fan best have his facts in order.” Was that a threat or just a statement by the New Orleans Saints organization?
The source also said, “The Saints will come back at this fan who has brought forth incorrect information in his statement with everything to defend the team, organization and players.” To me these sounds like the Saints are very concerned with the lawsuit and they should be concerned with it.
While the Saints organization is not commenting on the lawsuit, one of its players, running back Mark Ingram, took to Twitter to respond.
Ingram was one of the 10 Saints players who decided to sit on the bench during the national anthem in the Week 3 game at the Carolina Panthers, in response to President Donald Trump’s comments about the player protest around the league. After the Week 3 game, Saints players decided to kneel before the anthem in a show of unity and then stand together during the national anthem.
The lawsuit also states that players who refused to stand for the national anthem in Week 3 were “apparently…following the lead of Colin Kaepernick by disrespecting the flag, the Anthem, the USA, and those who have served and are servicing the USA in our military.”
The lawsuit also accuses New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and head coach Sean Payton of publicly condoning the practice of protesting the National Anthem.