Indiana lawmaker proposes refunds for football fans disgusted with anthem protests
Republican Indiana state rep. Milo Smith will introduce legislation mandating refunds to Indianapolis Colts fans who are disgusted with players' anthem protests.
"To me when they take a knee during the [N]ational [A]nthem, it's not respecting the [N]ational [A]nthem or our country," Smith told the Indy Star Thursday. "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."
The proposed bill would allow fans to request a refund of their ticket during the first quarter, but only if Colts players kneel during the singing of the [N]ational [A]nthem and only if it happens at Lucas Oil Stadium. If players from the visiting team kneel, fans [will] have no recourse.
A representative for the Colts declined to comment on the proposed legislation.
Smith shared that he came up with the idea after he attended a home game earlier this year with [his] daughter when the Colts played the Cleveland [Browns] and a handful of players kneeled. He said while he was upset, he didn't leave the game.
"I'm pretty patriotic, and it didn't sit right with me," Smith explained.
It's an interesting idea, but practically speaking, I don't know how workable it is. Forcing a private corporation to refund the price of a ticket for any reason may not be legal. And it's not as though fans don't know about the anthem protests. Most have already made their feelings clear by not purchasing tickets in the first place.
Still, as a statement of the legislature's state of mind, it might be worth pursuing. Standing up for what's right, if only to make a statement supporting the fans in their protest, is a good idea. But it's doubtful any pressure from lawmakers to force teams to deal more severely with anthem protesters will have an effect.