New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton took a stand against guns and escalating violence in New Orleans in a wide-ranging interview with USA Today’s Jarrett Bell on Monday in the wake of Will Smith‘s death.
Payton, who had not spoken publicly in the initial aftermath of Smith’s shooting, told USA Today he spent hours in the hospital where Smith’s wife, Raquel, underwent surgery, and drove to the place where the shooting happened at 5:45 a.m. on Sunday morning.
The Saints head coach also took a stand for stronger gun control.
“Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ “ Payton said. “The idea that we need them to fend off intruders … people are more apt to draw them (in other situations). That’s some silly stuff we’re hanging onto.”
Smith, a captain on the Super Bowl team, would have worked as a coaching intern with the Saints this season, Payton also revealed.
Payton, who spent an hour shortly after the season telling reporters how much he loves the city of New Orleans after a decade spent coaching the Saints, also decried the rise of gun violence in the city.
“We don’t hear this noise when something happens in New Orleans East, or in the Lower 9,” Payton said, alluding to predominantly African-American communities. “Now you creep into the Garden District…
“I just know this: Our city is broken.”