A New Orleans Saints fan is suing the football team for a refund on his season ticket because national anthem protests have ruined his “entertainment and intellectual enjoyment,” according to his lawsuit.
Lee Dragna asserts he would never have bought the ticket if he knew the players were going “use Saints football games as a platform for protests.” Dragna is also asking for the team to cover his attorney fees.
Saints running back Mark Ingram II rebuked the claims, stating the only time the team protested was at an away game.
The one time we protested an anthem was an away game. After a team meeting we decided to kneel as one BEFORE the anthem was played and STAND united as one DURING the anthem! Good luck dude ✌🏾 https://t.co/28huwGP0Pu
— Mark Ingram II (@MarkIngram22) December 13, 2017
The lawsuit claims players who refuse to stand for the anthem are “apparently … following the lead of Colin Kaepernick by disrespecting the flag, the Anthem, the USA and those who have served and are serving the USA in our military” and criticizes Saints owner Tom Benson and coach Sean Payton for not putting a stop to it.
Dragna states he stopped attending games after the second week of the 2017-2018 season, but multiple reports say Saints players only sat on the bench while the anthem played at a game against North Carolina in Week 3. Since then, the players have kneeled before the anthem and then stood when it begins to play.
According to ESPN, despite Dragna’s claims, no Saints player has ever kneeled during the anthem. Nor has the NFL made it mandatory for players to stand during the anthem despite multiple calls to do so, and no laws are being broken.
The national anthem protests began with Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers player who in 2016 began kneeling to protest racism and police brutality. The Saints and many other football players joined the protests after President Donald Trump referred to Kaepernick as a “son of a bitch.” In September, Trump called for Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch to be suspended and urged teams to fire players who protested.