A state lawmaker from Louisiana wants to pull millions of tax dollars, tax breaks and other support to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints after their players sat down or took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, Conservative Tribune reports.
“Disrespecting our national anthem and flag in the name of social injustice is the highest form of hypocrisy,” according to Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard in a written statement released Monday.
“I believe in the right to protest, but not at a taxpayer-subsidized sporting event. Do it on your own time,” Havard added.
Of the franchise’s $1.5 billion value, about $165 million is reportedly attributed to public funding, tax breaks and incentives provided to the ball club’s owner Tom Benson every year. The data comes from a 2016 study by The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com.
Havard suggested to redirect that funding to disabled children, elderly and veterans in the state.
State Rep. Valarie Hodges, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, has also asked the Legislature’s Senate and House budget committees to review the Saints’ state benefits following the players’ protest.