New Orleans Saints say it’s ‘unfortunate and disappointing’ retired Navy commander declined award


METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints launched an announcement Thursday saying it’s “unfortunate and disappointing” retired Navy commander who declined an honor at Sunday’s sport has been telling media retailers he not helps NFL soccer due to participant protests all through the league earlier than and in the course of the nationwide anthem.

“We will not allow Mr. [John] Wells’ decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans,” the Saints mentioned of their badertion, which burdened the group’s “unwavering 50-plus year commitment to honor, support and recognize our servicemen and women and veterans.”

In the badertion, the Saints additionally emphasised their gamers have stood for the anthem in each sport because the franchise’s inception in 1967, excluding “the Week Three game at Carolina when a few of our players did sit.”

Since Week four, Saints gamers have chosen to kneel earlier than the nationwide anthem in a show of unity after which stand in the course of the anthem. AP Photo/Tim Ireland

Since then, Saints gamers have chosen to kneel earlier than the anthem in a show of unity, then stand in the course of the anthem. Still, many followers have booed the kneeling gamers contained in the Superdome although the booing has not taken place in the course of the anthem.

Saints security Kenny Vaccaro and defensive finish Cameron Jordan touched upon this on their Twitter accounts Thursday, with Vaccaro writing, “Our crowd boos us before the anthem, therefore it’s not about the flag, it’s about the fact we are bringing awareness to a cause that makes people uncomfortable.”

Jordan tweeted about how followers have “ignored” the explanation behind the participant protests.

We sit “its disrespectful to sit/kneel” ?? we kneel earlier than “why are you kneeling still” & proceed to disregard the WHY. What am I/we lacking?

— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) November three, 2017

I am not mad, solely motivated to do extra in our neighborhood than earlier than…. One day I’ll have the specified impression

— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) November three, 2017

Wells, who’s the chief director of the nationwide Military Veterans Advocacy in Slidell, Louisiana, was chosen as a Peoples Health Champion, an award given at Saints dwelling video games to acknowledge “the exceptional achievements of Louisiana residents age 65 and older.”

However, Wells declined the honour, calling the protests in the course of the anthem a “slap in the face to veterans” in a information launch and saying he couldn’t “in good conscience” enter an NFL stadium.

“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players’ disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation,” Wells mentioned in line with the discharge. “Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it.”

The Saints launched their prolonged badertion in response on Thursday afternoon:

“Respectfully and honorably, we chose Mr. Wells for the Peoples Health Champion Award purposefully for this game to bring to light the exact issues that he and his organization represent — the health and well-being of our military, veterans and their families. Unfortunately, he has chosen very publicly not to accept this honor and refused the opportunity to promote the very cause for which he was being honored and distract from awareness we hoped to build throughout our community. We respect his decision, he has that right, and we thank him for his service to our country and his past efforts on behalf of the military and veterans.”

The Saints went on to listing the neighborhood appearances and monetary commitments the staff has made to navy and badociated organizations, and to emphasize that proprietor Tom Benson — a former Naval officer — has been honored and acknowledged as a longtime supporter of the navy. They mentioned they might use the time at Sunday’s sport that had been allotted for Wells’ award to “highlight non-political military advocacy programs and encourage our fans and community to join us in contributing to these groups who directly support our military and veterans.”

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