A New Orleans Saints season-ticket holder is suing the team and requesting a refund of his ticket costs and attorneys’ fees because of players who kneel before the national anthem at home games and those who sat during the anthem during a Week 3 road game against the Carolina Panthers, as first reported by the New Orleans Advocate.
Lee Dragna, the fan who filed the suit, is claiming that he bought the tickets for the “entertainment and intellectual enjoyment” for himself and his family and claims that he never would have bought thetickets if he had known that players would “use Saints football games as a platform for protests.”
The lawsuit claims Dragna has not attended a Saints home game since Week 2 of this season.
The Saints declined to comment, saying that they had turned the matter over to their legal department, but according to a report from ESPN, who cites a source, the team is “taking this very seriously, and this fan best have his facts in order.”
“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” the report citing a source indicated.
Saints running back Mark Ingram, who was one of 10 Saints’ players to sit on the bench during the National Anthem in Week 3, responded to the lawsuit on Twitter with the following:
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 stated that players who refused to stand for the anthem prior to the Panthers game 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 serving the USA in our military.”
Additionally, Dragna’s lawsuit targets both Saints owner Tom Benson and coach Sean Payton of publicly condoning the practice