‘Sad and divisive’: Saints respond to veteran’s refusal of award because of NFL protests

Saints players kneel before the national is performed at a Week 6 game in New Orleans. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The Saints issued a lengthy statement Thursday in response to a Louisiana military veteran’s refusal to accept an award at the Superdome in New Orleans. Retired Navy Cmdr. John Wells had said he was “unable, in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium” while the “discourtesy” of player protests during the national anthem continued.

“We will not allow Mr. Wells’ decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans,” the Saints said. “We, as an organization, have decided to move on from this sad and divisive discourse and focus our attention on supporting our military and veterans.”

Wells, the executive director of a veterans’ advocacy group, had been tabbed to receive a Peoples Health Champion award, which honors (per the company’s website) “the exceptional achievements of Louisiana residents age 65 and older.” He was to receive the award at the Saints’ home game Sunday against the Buccaneers, but he turned down the opportunity, telling the team in a letter, “Although I am touched and honored to be

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/11/03/sad-and-divisive-saints-respond-to-veterans-refusal-of-award-because-of-nfl-protests/

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