Indiana lawmaker wants Indianapolis Colts to refund upset fans if players kneel during anthem

Indianapolis football fans who want their money back when Colts players kneel during the playing of the national anthem could soon get their way — if legislation filed this week by a state lawmaker is approved.

Republican Rep. Milo Smith, who represents the Columbus area, told the Indianapolis Star kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the government, and when he witnessed it himself at a game in September, “it didn’t sit right with me.”

“To me when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country,” Smith told the news outlet. “Our government isn’t perfect, but it’s still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it.”

Smith explained his proposed bill wouldn’t be breaking any laws as it wouldn’t stop players from kneeling, but would require the Colts to refund fans who wanted their money back. He also explained it wouldn’t require the team to refund sports fans if members of the opposing team were to kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner.

Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an Oct. 8 Indianapolis Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers after members of the opposing team kneeled during the national anthem.  (USA Today Sports via REUTERS)

The conservative legislator’s proposal comes months after Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 8 after opposing team players knelt during the anthem.

Pence tweeted soon after he “will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

Earlier this month, a New Orleans Saints season ticket holder filed a lawsuit in Louisiana judicial district court claiming an alleged demonstration during the team’s Sept. 17 home game against the New England Patriots created an angry atmosphere that’s since made his tickets unusable.

The fan is seeking attorney’s fees and a refund for his tickets, which The New Orleans Advocate reported cost around $8,000.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

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