Minutes before the Detroit Lions played the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field last Sunday, a man in the stadium posted a photo on Snapchat of two black fans sitting during the national anthem, with the caption, “ignorant n—–s.” He then shared the photo on Facebook, and it quickly spread around social media, becoming a national story.
Well according to The Detroit News, the fan who posted and captioned the photo, a business-owner named David Doptis, has turned in his seasons tickets and been banned from future Lions games at Ford Field. The Lions reportedly conducted an investigation and spoke to Doptis before coming to that decision.
Here is the photo that set off the controversy:
— Randy Wimbley (@RandyWFOX2) September 11, 2017
Several local news outlets have caught up with the woman in the photo, Stacey Graham, who explained to local TV station WXYZ that she sits during the national anthem because she objects to the third verse, which condones slavery. Via Fox 2 in Detroit, here’s more of what Graham had to say about the incident:
“Everybody has an opinion. He probably could’ve stuck with ‘he wishes we would’ve stood’ and I would’ve been like ‘ok’, but to write that under our picture … no words.”
The Lions reportedly declined to discuss the incident at first but eventually announced that Doptis had been banned from the team’s games. Running back Ameer Abdullah pointedly condemned the message Wednesday on Twitter:
Man, this hits hard… smh greatly disappointed, yet not a bit surprised. Completely ashamed for these people and disgusted by this "fan." https://t.co/rj1UiS3iQx
— Ameer Abdullah (@Ameerguapo) September 13, 2017