The NFL controversy has been ramping up for almost a year now. It started to get worse when the 2017-2018 season started, and now, one retired military vet is stepping up to say what most others are thinking.
Recently, a retired Navy commander decided not to attend Sunday’s game as an honorary member. The military veteran said that he no longer supports the NFL due to the protests taking place during the national anthem before every game, according to ESPN.
The New Orleans Saints, who invited the military vet, John Wells, to the game, have tried to attack back. This is not the first time that a team has become hostile after they were called out for protesting.
“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 said in a statement.
The problem here is that, when players kneel or sit during the anthem, they are disrespecting the American military, the flag, and the national anthem itself. The team went on to say in their statement that they have been supporting veterans for over fifty years.
Wells is the executive director of the National Military Veterans Advocacy in Slidell, Louisiana. He was selected as the role of Peoples Health Champion.
This award is given during New Orleans Saints home games for people who meet “the exceptional achievements of Louisiana residents age 65 and older.”
Wells stated that he is not interested in accepting the honor. His reason for this decision is that he believes that the protests of the national anthem are nothing more than a “slap in the face to veterans,” in the news and he said that he could not “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 said in his statement.
He continued, “Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it.” The Saints attacked back and eventually thanked him for his service at the end. That was at least a classy move on their part, and shows that, while some of the team’s players have accepted a controversial position politically, some of them still know where they owe their respects.
Are you on this veteran’s side?
In a way to show off, it seemed, they listed all of the contributions that they have made to the military and veterans over the years. It is good that they are doing things for the military. However, that is not an excuse to virtue signal when a veteran won’t appear at your award because of the perceived disrespect.
This move by Wells may be a wake-up call to many NFL teams around the league. Respecting the military is not that hard, they just want folks to stand for the national anthem and honor the country for which they fought so hard to protect.