The Saints are being sued by a season-ticket holder over national anthem protests
A man in Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against the Saints seeking a refund of his season tickets because he’s mad at the team for protesting during the national anthem.
The man who filed the lawsuit, Lee Dragna, says that he would never have bought the tickets if he had know that Saints were going to use “football games as a platform for protests,” according to a copy of the lawsuit, which was obtained by ESPN.com.
Players have been protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling for the national anthem.
Dragna is seeking to get a refund on his tickets and to have the Saints pay his attorney fees. The fan says he stopped attending Saints games after Week 2, when he claims to have witnessed several players stay in the locker room during the national anthem.
“They passed directly in front of where the petitioner and his guests were seated. Many of the fans in that area booed and cursed at the Saints players,” the lawsuit states, via the New Orleans Advocate.
Dragna might have a tough time winning the lawsuit because there has been no evidence to suggest that the Saints have protested the national anthem during a single home game this season, a fact that was pointed out by running back Mark Ingram on Twitter.
The only time any Saints player is known to have sat for the national anthem this season came in a Week 3 road game against the Panthers. That was the first game played after President Donald Trump by calling on NFL owners to cut any players that kneel for the anthem.
After Trump’s comments, the Saints started kneeling before the anthem as a show of unity. However, they have always stood for the actual singing of the anthem.
A team source told ESPN.com that the Saints plan to vigorously fight the lawsuit.
“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 source said.
As for why he filed the lawsuit, Dragna offered a few more details to the New Orleans Advocate.
“I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that those are their heroes … and it’s OK to do that stuff, especially on TV and especially on your job site,” Dragna said. “That can’t be allowed to happen.”
Dragna purchased roughly $8,000 in season tickets and he would like to see that money get refunded. Saints owner Tom Benson and coach Sean Payton are both specifically mentioned in the lawsuit. Dragna believes that both men have been publicly condoning the anthem protests.