An NFL season ticket holder is suing the New Orleans Saints for a full refund on his tickets because he believes players have been "disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the USA" and service members of the nation's military.
Lee Dragna, of Morgan City, Louisiana, filed a lawsuit on Monday in which he sought a refund for this season's tickets, and attorney fees, because players have protested police brutality and racial discrimination by not standing during the playing of the national anthem, according to The New Orleans Advocate.
Since attending the team's home opener against the New England Patriots on Sep. 17, Dragna has not been to another game, because he said some players did not come out for the national anthem.
"[The players] passed directly in front of where the petitioner and his guests were seated. Many of the fans in that area booed and cursed at the Saints players," the lawsuit said. "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."
Dragna claimed that other fans seated near him at the Sep. 17 game then erupted in anger and made the tickets unusable for himself, his family and potential buyers for the tickets.
"The Saints created that behavior by condoning it," Dragna said, according to The Advocate. He added that the behavior of the fans who were upset by the players who protested was "borderline dangerous." Dragna added, "It’s my thought pattern that [players] 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."
Controversy over the national anthem exploded in September after President Donald Trump attacked NFL players and said they should be fired for their actions.
Protesting players, such as Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers, have repeatedly stated that they are not protesting the flag, the anthem or the military, but instead raising awareness about social and racial injustice.
But Dragna has a view of his own.
"I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that those are their heroes . . . and it’s OK to do that stuff, especially on TV and especially on your job site," Dragna said, according to The Advocate. "That can’t be allowed to happen."
The lawsuit, however, is unlikely to go anywhere, as the Saints refused Dragna's initial call for a refund for his $8,000 tickets.
"This lawsuit has very little chance of success," Gabe Feldman, director of Tulane University’s Sports Law Program, told The Advocate. "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."
Mark Ingram, a star running back for the Saints tweeted his thoughts on Dragna's lawsuits and told him, "Good luck dude."
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