Lawmaker wants to hold major NFL team accountable for protesting


Legislation filed this week by Indianapolis Republican Rep. Milo Smith seeks to reimburse football fans who want their money back when Colts players kneel during the national anthem.

Smith told the Indianapolis Star that he believes kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the government, after he witnessed it himself at a game in September. “Our government isn’t perfect, but it’s still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it,” he added.

While it wouldn’t stop players from kneeling, Smith’s proposed bill would require the Colts to issue refunds to those fans who wanted their money back afterwards. He noted, however, that the law would not require the team to refund sports fans if members of the opposing team were to kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner.

In October, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers after the California team’s players knelt during the anthem.

Right after that, Pence tweeted out his own feelings about the practice of kneeling during the national anthem, stating, “I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

Earlier this month, a New Orleans Saints season ticket holder filed a lawsuit in Louisiana judicial district court claiming an alleged demonstration during the team’s Sept. 17 home game against the New England Patriots created an angry atmosphere that’s since made his tickets unusable, according to a Fox News report.

The fan is seeking attorney’s fees and an $8,000 refund for his tickets, according to The New Orleans Advocate.

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