Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says he’ll always stand for the national anthem and hopes others do so as well.
Edwards made that statement during a radio interview regarding the NFL protests, in particular the protest by some players with the New Orleans Saints that choose to take a knee during the national anthem this past Sunday.
“The National Anthem and the American flag are symbols of freedom and should unite all of us, despite our differences. Having served our country in the military, I will always choose to stand for the National Anthem and encourage others to do likewise. We recognize that our fellow citizens have a First Amendment right to express these sentiments. That said, it seems to me there are more effective ways to go about it. I would hope that, as a nation, individuals on both sides of this issue can come together and work to do better” said Edwards.
Edwards also reacted to the suggestion from Rep. Kenny Havard that the Saints lose its state funding due to the players taking a knee.
“In the meantime, the state must continue to meet its contractual obligations with the Saints. We will work with the legislature and other officials to ensure complete transparency as to what those obligations are” said Edwards.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a statement saying Rep. Havard’s suggestion is worth examining.
“Representative Havard has sparked a great conversation. Why should the taxpayers subsidize with hundreds of millions of dollars a two billion dollar organization that allows the blatant disregard for our flag and our anthem? I call on the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to take a stand and support the Legislature’s examination into his proposal” said Landry.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has said he will boycott future Saints and all NFL games due to the players kneeling.
“Football is a wonderful American pastime that has been politicized by the players who have chosen to use our country’s anthem as a political lightning rod to make a point. It’s sad and has put a negative light on the game we all love so much. As Billy Nungesser, I will not be attending another NFL event until the players and coaches come together to support the symbol and anthem of our country out of respect for the brave men and women who have fought and are currently fighting every day to keep our people safe” said Nungesser.
Nungesser is in Europe promoting Louisiana tourism. His schedule had called for him to take part in a ceremony before the Saints/Dolphins game in Wembley Stadium in London.