State lawmakers call for Saints' funding cuts after protest

Halen Doughty
La. State Rep. Kenny Havard

Some state lawmakers are calling for cuts in state funding to the New Orleans Saints after some players sat down during a performance of the national anthem at the Saints-Panthers game last week. The protests come amid controversial statements by President Donald Trump, who called on NFL team owners to fire the "sons of b-" who chose not to stand for the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner."

Denham Springs Representative Valerie Hodges requested to include the Saints' budget at the next meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. The next meeting will be held at the end of October, and the final agenda has not yet been released. Hodges said while she supports First Amendment rights, there is a time and place to protest.

"We will not tolerate blatant disregard for the flag and the lives of so many men and women who have died defending our country," Hodges said, "I have to wonder, if they will not pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, who is their allegiance to?”

St. Francisville Representative Kenny Havard called for a cut in funding immediately after the protest. He wants to cut millions in state funding, exemptions, and tax credits given to the Saints. He told the Advocate disrespecting the flag and national anthem in the name of social injustice is "the highest form of hypocrisy."

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