A Tennessee House member says his state should yank funding from professional sports teams there who engage in protests over the national anthem.
State Rep. Judd Matheny (R) added he is working on a bill to halt tax breaks, government bonds and land giveaways for franchises amid national debate over the issue.
“If they are going to slap us in the face when we give them subsidies, then we are going to stop it,” he told WKRN Tuesday.
The Tennessee Titans and the visiting Seattle Seahawks on Sunday opted to remain in their locker rooms as the national anthem played before their clash in Nashville.
Americans are fiercely arguing the merit of such demonstrations in the National Football League (NFL) and other professional sports organizations.
Some Twitter users on Tuesday praised the Titans for engaging in the controversial protests, while others derided the decision.
Disgraceful & unsportsman like..Done watching football sadly!— Mellie (@candidchatter) September 26, 2017
The basics are that this issue is about police brutality, not patriotism. Pardon me for loving my children more than my country.— Elizabeth Radecic (@eradecic) September 26, 2017
Matheny said the legislation he is crafting would force teams like the Titans to buy land with their own money and pay taxes rather than getting government aid.
WKRN reported that when the Titans came to Nashville in the 1990s, part of their roughly $300 million stadium deal there included approximately $55 million in state bonds.
Matheny, who is running for Congress, noted his measure would end that and any similar moves in the future for Tennessee professional teams once their current obligations are met.
Multiple NFL coaches, executives and players participated in protests relating to the national anthem after President Trump denounced the practice last Friday.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now – he is fired,’” Trump said during a rally in Alabama for Senate candidate Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL).
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police treatment of minorities in the U.S.
The demonstrations have since become more prevalent in the NFL, and they have also been imitated by professional athletes in other sports.
We asked veterans how they really feel about the NFL anthem protests.