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After NFL’s national anthem protests, disabled Navy vet refuses to accept New Orleans Saints’ award

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A disabled Navy veteran who was set to be honored at a New Orleans Saints game this season told them what they could do with their award.

John Wells who, in addition to being a disabled veteran is the executive director of Military Veterans Advocacy, was going to be given an award called the Peoples Health Champion at last week’s game against the Chicago Bears at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, according to the Advocate.

But he declined the award due to the NFL’s, and the Saints’, ongoing National Anthem protests.

“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players’ disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation,”he said. “I am unable, in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium while this discourtesy prevails. Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it.”

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The Saints, unhappy with Wells’ decision to not be used as a public relations prop for their team and the NFL, chastised the veteran in its response.

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“We will not allow Mr. Wells’ decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans,” the team said in a statement. “We, as an organization, have decided to move on from this sad and divisive discourse and focus our attention on supporting our military and veterans.”

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Carmine Sabia


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