Earlier this week, a Saints season ticket holder sued the team due to protests during the national anthem. Lee Dragna said the protests prevented him and his family from enjoying the game, so they stopped attending after the first home game of the season and would like a refund.
The kicker (no pun intended)? Players for the New Orleans Saints hadn’t begun protesting until Week Three…at an away game, points out the team’s running back Mark Ingram on Twitter.
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
There were no organized player protests until after, on Friday, September 22 during a rally in Alabama, President Trump colorfully expressed his opposition to Colin Kaepernick and other players who chose to kneel in an effort to bring attention to racial injustice and police brutality.
It wasn’t until the following game, on Sunday, September 24, that ten players sat in solidarity before the anthem in Carolina.
The opening game during which Dragna claims players did not come out for the anthem and were booed and cursed on their way onto the field was on September 17.
“Apparently, these players were following the lead of (former San Francisco 49ers quarterback) Colin Kaepernick by disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the USA and those who have served and are serving the USA in our military,” the suit says.
The tickets Dragna purchased are 25 rows back from the field and on the 20-yard line. He requested a refund of the approximately $8,000 value from team officials, but that request was denied.
“They don’t even want to talk about this, but I don’t care,” he said. “One way or another they’ll pay.”
Legal experts quoted by The Advocate say the lawsuit has little chance of success, partially because of a clause in the season ticket contract which makes purchasers consent to arbitration.
“Fans do not have legal standing or a cause of action simply because they are unhappy with how a team performs or acts on the field. If fans were allowed to sue for breach of contract every time they were disappointed with the performance or conduct of a player, there would be an unending string of lawsuits across the country.”
He added: “An NFL ticket allows you to enter a stadium to watch a football game, but it does not guarantee that the players will act in ways that do not upset you — either athletically or politically.”
The success of the suit is obviously now even far less likely, considering there were no reports of protests by the Saints prior to Week Three.