NEW ORLEANS -- Thursday night, Saints players Kenny Vaccaro and Cam Jordan took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the ongoing controversy over player protests in the NFL.
It began when the team released a statement in reaction to former Naval officer and veterans’ advocate John Wells refusing to accept an award at Sunday’s game at the Superdome.
Wells cited player protests on social injustice during the National Anthem as his reason.
"I admire them for what they're doing," Wells said. "I admire the award. I'm just sorry that the circumstances are such that I could not ethically accept it."
Wells added he won't walk into an NFL stadium while players continue to protest during the national anthem.
The Saints statement that followed thanked Wells for his service and acknowledged their players only knelt once during the anthem; during a Week 3 game against the Carolina Panthers.
Advocate reporter Nick Underhill responded, asking ‘why anyone would be mad at a player for kneeling before the anthem.”
That’s when Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro responded, stating ‘Our crowd boos us before the anthem, therefore it’s not about the flag, it’s about the fact we are bringing awareness to a cause that makes people uncomfortable.’
Our crowd boos us before the anthem, therefore it's not about the flag, it's about the fact we are bringing awareness to a cause that makes https://t.co/qSCepjK4mx— Kenny Dwayne Vaccaro (@KennyVaccaro4) November 2, 2017
Yeah I know, they are booing because we want change. It's pretty sad https://t.co/UVYpTSWXLr— Kenny Dwayne Vaccaro (@KennyVaccaro4) November 3, 2017
We already said what we were gonna do so get the picture or don't come. https://t.co/GTpjbdIvIq— Kenny Dwayne Vaccaro (@KennyVaccaro4) November 3, 2017
Vaccaro continued, saying that he stands for the flag and telling another Twitter user that players have already released statements beforehand saying what their actions would be during later games, ‘so get the picture or don’t come.’
Defensive end Cameron Jordan also responded with a series of tweets, saying he wasn’t mad, ‘only motivated to do more in our community than before...One day I will have the desired impact.’
😳😱 not uncomfortable?!! N cheer when we stand, like we haven't committed to kneeling before & standing together as a TEAM during the anthem https://t.co/Wv18VcsjJF— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) November 3, 2017
We sit "its disrespectful to sit/kneel" 😶🤔 we kneel before "why are you kneeling still" & continue to ignore the WHY. What am I/we missing?— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) November 3, 2017
I'm not mad, only motivated to do more in our community than before.... One day I will have the desired impact— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) November 3, 2017
Since Week 3, the Saints have released a statement saying they will stand during the anthem.
Owner Tom Benson is a military veteran, and has stated his opinion that ‘standing at attention for our flag and our national anthem is a powerful symbol we must respect.’