A retired Navy veteran who is disabled declined to appear with the New Orleans Saints because he was offended by them taking a knee during the National Anthem. In an incredibly stupid move, the Saints are pushing back.
The New York Post reports:
Saints in public feud with disabled veteran over anthem protests
The New Orleans Saints are firing back at a retired Navy commander who declined to be honored at their game Sunday because of players protesting during the national anthem, calling his decision “unfortunate and disappointing.”
Retired Navy Cmdr. John Wells, executive director of the Louisiana-based Military Veterans Advocacy, was selected by the Saints to receive its Peoples Health Champion Award for highlighting the “health and well-being of our military, veterans and their families,” according to the team’s statement Thursday.
But Wells told the organization Wednesday not to expect him at the game, since he’s unable “in good conscience” to enter an NFL stadium where some players continue to “disrespect” the American flag by kneeling or sitting before or during the national anthem…
The Saints, in a lengthy statement released late Thursday, said it was unfortunate that Wells chose to decline the award in such a public fashion.
“We respect his decision, he has that right, and we thank him for his service to our country and his past efforts on behalf of the military and veterans,” the statement read. “Throughout Mr. Wells’ media appearances today, he has stated he no longer supports NFL football.
“That is unfortunate and disappointing considering the New Orleans Saints’ unwavering 50-plus year commitment to honor, support and recognize our servicemen and women and veterans. We will not allow Mr. Wells’ decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans.”
This is beyond dumb. It’s a fight the Saints can’t win. They would have been better off not to say anything at all.