Saints Panthers Football

New Orleans Saints players sit on the bench during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) ORG XMIT: NCCB101

Bob Leverone

The media are so excited that some NFL players had the courage to disrespect our nation’s flag this past Sunday, protesting racism in America. The coverage locally and nationally could not be more sympathetic. Ten New Orleans Saints sat during the national anthem, and Coach Sean Payton proclaimed he was proud of every one of them.

Question: What would have happened if some players wore a patch Sunday, with a baby on it, protesting abortion? Do you think the media would be doing backflips to praise them? How about the Saints organization or the NFL? Would we have seen the same support as we did from elites for the national anthem protesters? Would Coach Payton express his pride for his men for standing up for the unborn? We will never know because the NFL would have shut down a pro-life protest before it could begin.

Remember the tragic police massacre in Dallas last year? Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted his team to wear a decal on their helmets honoring the five officers killed in an ambush. The NFL would have none of it. But protesting the flag? Have at it, boys!

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NFL brass insults us by claiming this is all about free speech. It is not. The millionaire spoiled brats refusing to stand for our flag are not courageous nor are they pioneers. It’s hip and the "in" thing these days to protest racism. The media will heap nothing but praise on you for doing so. After all, the media and their accomplices in the Democratic Party want us all to believe we are an oppressive nation full of racists. We are not. It is a lie.

Yes, America has racists like David Duke, Jeremiah Wright, the New Black Panthers and white nationalist Nazis. But they are fringe, irrelevant, and have no power to oppress. Most of us are not racists and get along well. In fact, there is no other nation on the planet where it is better to be a minority than in America. Everybody can get ahead in America no matter the color of your skin.

The 10 Saints sitting for the national anthem this past Sunday were useful for those who for political gain push a narrative that is simply not true. Racists here, racists there, racists everywhere.

A perfect example of this is New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s tearing down of historical monuments. He obviously was willing to divide the city along racial lines and stir up his base for national political gain. It’s diabolical but that’s how Democrats roll. The we-are-a-nation-of-racists message is all they got. They warn you there’s a racist under every bush and then promise to protect you from them. The 10 Saints sitting during the national anthem Sunday have no clue they’ve been played in such an unfortunate way. But they should realize the last thing they are is oppressed and their first clue should be the multiple zeros on their paychecks.

I was 10 years old standing next to my dad in Tulane Stadium when Tom Dempsey kicked his 63-yard record field goal as the clock ran out to beat the Detroit Lions. It’s one of many Saints memories my dad and I shared together. My father had passed by the time the Saints finally made it to the Super Bowl. I was more than 4,000 miles away from home but it didn’t matter, I jumped on the first plane to New Orleans so I could watch the game with family and friends. It was such a special moment for our city. The Saints have been an integral part of the city and state and my life personally for as long as I can remember.

But in the end life is about priorities and choices, and I can no longer support and follow a team or league that allows its players to disrespect a flag so many brave men and women have given their lives to defend. I’m pretty sure if my dad, who was a veteran, were still alive, he would feel the same way. I suspect many will join me in my decision.

Dan Fagan is a former TV and radio broadcaster who lives in Metairie. Email him at faganshow@gmail.com.