If you thought the outrage over NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem in order to call attention to police brutality and inequality was over, you were wrong.
Both owners and advertisers have tried to use some form of the “I pay your salary” technique in order to try to get NFL players to stop the protests that Colin Kaepernick started last year and dominated the conversation for much of the 2017 season. Since neither of those worked, one fan is now trying to make his case with own version of the argument.
Per The New Orleans Advocate, Lee Dragna bought New Orleans Saints season tickets this year but decided not to attend any further games this season after players decided not to come onto the field during the national anthem. Dragna claims that the fans around him become so enraged and angry that it made attending Saints games unusable to him, his family, and customers he might have given the tickets to. Dragna claims he asked the Saints for a full refund and they declined, so he has filed a suit against the franchise for a full refund on his season tickets.
While Dragna is clearly not a fan of the protests (“It’s my thought pattern that they should not be allowed (to protest). If you sell tickets to a gaming event for entertainment, you should not be allowed to turn it political.”), he’s trying to pin the justification on the rowdiness of his fellow fans, who make game-watching enjoyable. It’s a bit of a mixed strategy but regardless he pins the final blame on the Saints and their owner, Tom Benson.
“The Saints created that behavior by condoning it,” he said.
To be fair, the team probably could have avoided the headache by just offering Dragna a refund or some make-goods. Instead, the $8,000 Dragna says he spent on the tickets, which are located around 25 rows back of the 20-yard-line, could get a bit costlier and reignites the drama. Then again, a case could be made that Dragna could have sold the tickets himself and be done with the matter if that’s what this was really about.
The absurdity of the lawsuit does take a bit of an ominous turn with one quote from Dragna, however. After saying that he doesn’t want his children to look up to protesting NFL players and that protesting at your job site “can’t be allowed to happen,” he adds a threat to the mix that doesn’t read well, whether intended to or not.
“They don’t even want to talk about this, but I don’t care. One way or another, they’ll pay.”
They’re just football tickets, Lee.