Slidell's Krewe of Poseidon is putting their feet down.
According to an email sent to members, they will be rescinding invites to Saints players Alex Okafor and Kenny Vaccarro who had agreed to serve as grand marshals for the parade.
The decision was made after the two, along with several other Saints players, sat during the national anthem before a game against the Carolina Panthers. The protest was part of league-wide demonstrations following statements made by President Donald Trump throughout the week.
Below is a breakdown of how each NFL team conducted protests during the national anthem in Week 3.
"Both players made a personal decision to become involved in a highly divisive issue by sitting for the national anthem prior to their football game," read the message from the Krewe of Poseidon board. "Although we fully respect everyone’s opinion and believe in an individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression, the Krewe is not interested in having any controversial figures representing us as Grand Marshals.
"We understand while we’re enjoying our Mardi Gras revelry, U.S. military personnel are deployed around the world ensuring our freedom and safety. Their sacrifice, as well as those of the countless men and women who preceded them, enable us to participate in our carnival organization and provide entertainment to our spectators."
Several businesses and lawmakers in Louisiana have also come out against the protests. Lawmakers have called for the potential cutting of state funds to the Saints.
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The Slidell parade troupe is scheduled to march on Jan. 27, 2018 at 1 p.m., and has been in existence since 2015. They did not specify who would fill in for Vaccaro and Okafor, but stated they would seek replacements.
"It’s an unfortunate decision but one we believed was necessary to avoid possible conflict during our 2018 parade. Making the decision now will hopefully provide adequate time for a replacement," read the message.
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