The Indianapolis Colts would be required to offer refunds to fans at home games if Colts players kneel in protest during the national anthem — that is, if legislation an Indiana lawmaker is filing goes through.
State Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) told the Indy Star his bill would let offended fans ask for a refund during the first quarter.
“To me, when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country,” Smith added to the paper. “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.”
A Colts representative declined to comment on the proposal, the Star reported.
Smith and his daughter were attending the Colts’ September game against the Cleveland Browns when a group of Colts players took a knee, he told the paper, adding that while he was offended by the demonstration, he remained at the game.
“I’m pretty patriotic, and it didn’t sit right with me,” he told the Star.
Jane Henegar, executive director of ACLU Indiana, told the paper that Smith’s proposal could violate the Constitution.
“In effect by passing the law, government would be weighing in…and fining political speech by the Indianapolis Colts,” Henegar told the Star. “It seems like the worst thing that could happen is government weighing in and trying to control in any direction the political speech of private actors.”
But Smith maintained his bill doesn’t prevent kneeling, the paper reported.
What else does the proposed legislation say?
Smith’s bill doesn’t require the Colts to provide refunds if players from the visiting team kneel, the Star said.
What other measures has Smith been a part of?
The Star added that Smith is “a social conservative who played a key role in advancing a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage onto the Indiana House floor in 2014. His son, who is gay, criticized his father for his vote at the time.”
(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)