Gov. Edwards says he's called Saints about anthem issue

Governor Edwards said he called the Saints to try to work out the issue of players sitting during the national anthem.

NEW ORLEANS - Gov, John Bel Edwards, D-Louisiana, made his first comments on the controversy surrounding NFL players refusing to stand for the National Anthem.

Speaking on WWL Radio, Edwards, a West Point graduate, said the American flag and the anthem are meant to unite, not divide.

"As you know I served in the military," Edwards said. "I always stand for the National Anthem, I encourage others to do that."

The governor personally called the New Orleans Saints organization in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Sunday, ten Saints players sat during the anthem to protest comments made by President Trump and racial injustice.

The governor acknowledged players have the right to protest, but they should think about doing it in a less divisive manner.

"Having a First Amendment right to do something, doesn't make it the right thing to do," Edwards said. "So, I hope we can work through this."

Meanwhile, a major beer distributer out of Lafayette has decided to pull all Bud Light point-of-sale material featuring the NFL and New Orleans Saints.

Schilling Distributing Company VP Charles "Buddy" Schilling released a statement saying, "With all the negative attention the NFL is receiving right now due to these protests, we do not feel it is appropriate to associate our brand with them in the marketplace at this time," 

In New Orleans, Melba's restaurant is hearing it from customers after a manager told WWL-TV, he didn't want to show Saints games because of the protests.

Restaurant owner Scott Wolfe told the New Orleans Advocate newspaper, "What he said was not the opinion of Melba's, it wasn't my opinion, and it's not how we operate here. I know it's confused a lot of people, but the people who know us know that's not what we're about."

Melba's is now expected to show the Saints game on Sunday.

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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