Indiana Legislation Would Require NFL Teams To Refund Tickets Over Anthem Protests

Milo_Smith196px-National_Football_League_2008.svgLike many football fans, Republican Rep. Milo Smith is fed up with the protests by NFL players during the anthem.  However, while many fans are staying away from games (setting record low attendance numbers), Smith wants to require NFL owners to reimburse fans who object to the protests.  While I have expressed my own opposition to any demonstrations during the national anthem, I have previously stated that the ultimate decision rests with the team owners.  Like any business owner, a NFL owner can insist that employees refrain from protests during employment hours and activities.  However, this legislation would raise serious legal concerns and would likely not survive a legal challenge.

Smith says that he went to a game for the Colts and saw the protest and “it didn’t sit right with me.”  One can certainly understand that response, but he then sought to require reimbursement without any express promise from the owners regarding the anthem.  Indeed, the playing of the anthem has changed over the years.

Smith seems to believe that, because he would not punish the players, the bill would pass constitutional muster under a first amendment analysis.  However, there remains the right of owners to allow or disallow such protests as well as problem of requiring payment on a non-contractual guarantee.  Owners currently take the view that players may exercise their free speech rights before games.  To penalize the exercise of such allowed demonstrations would still raise free speech grounds for a challenge.  There is also the problem of exclusively penalizing football team owners rather than other teams or activities for such protests.

I fail to see the legal basis for a claim against owners based on tickets sold to fans and I believe a challenge to Smith’s legislation would succeed if it exclusively forced NFL owners to refund tickets for any protesting players on their teams.

168 thoughts on “Indiana Legislation Would Require NFL Teams To Refund Tickets Over Anthem Protests”

  1. A tedious topic that’s the standard bell whistle for bigotry on display for the kneeling black players in silent protest. A black man kneeling…fire the sonsofabitches. Nazis rallying in Charlottesville, fine people.

    That’s enough.

    1. Let’s unpack your ignorance shall we Darrin?

      – The “nazis” in Charlottesville had a permit to be there while the antifa nazis did not.

      – The #2 in Charlottesville city hall is a notorious racist who was probably behind police inaction that allowed the two groups to clash violently.

      – What are the kneeling during the anthem protests actually protesting?

      – Do taxpayers that have bankrolled NFL teams not have the right to ask for their money back if NFL employees aren’t meeting their end of the deal?

  2. CV Brown – Linda has yet to admit that she has Irish blood which leads me to believe that she carries Oppressor blood in her veins.

  3. I understand why so many are incensed that rich men who play a sport kneel down during the National Anthem. But what irritates me the most is that many of those on their knees and those who are incensed, don’t even know the words to the National Anthem.

  4. What I find strangely absurd and sad, is that these millionaire Negroes are kneeling for dead drug dealers and thugz, just because they are the same color.

    Think how odd it would be if white football players took a knee for the recently deceased Charles Manson, who had a rough life, and a bad home with a single no-good mom. Or, if us white folks took a knee in remembrance of Bonnie and Clyde, who were ambushed and gunned down without even the chance to put their hands up, and say, “Don’t Shoot!”

    What, is there a dearth of drug dealers, criminals, and thugz in the “Community”, to the point where they lament the passing of persons who sell drugs to their kids, shoot up the neighborhood, kill thousands of other blacks yearly, irresponsibly procreate and cause general mayhem???

    Quite in opposition to MLK who put the content of one’s character above the color of one’s skin, these black nincompoops worship the color of the deceased with nary a concern for their character.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Generalizing that injustices rest at the feet of minorities that it is somehow “strangely absurd” is pathetic.And all the while, the do as I say, not as I do crowd gives the current POTUS a free pass when it come to “character.”

    1. Kneel with the players. Demand that those who frame the protest as a link to veterans and the military admit the connection doesn’t exist.

  5. A step in the right direction considering that most teams extorted tax dollars out of local governments for their stadiums and that the entire NFL remains the only sports league exempt from anti-trust laws.

  6. This is another instance where politicians have no right to interfere in how a business is run. Leave it up to the fans to handle. That is how free market capitalism works. The fans take their money elsewhere and the owners either respond or go out of business.

    My marine uncle is making a very poignant statement with the use of his time. He doesn’t have a lot of time left. They have made him comfortable enough to watch TV, so he watches football and NCIS. He’s always loved football. This is likely the last season he’ll ever get to watch, and he has refused to watch professional football, only college. As a Korean vet he doesn’t want to watch anyone kneeling during the anthem or hear their ignorant politics. Time is the most precious commodity any of us have, and he’s spending his having nothing more to do with pro football.

    Those pampered, spoiled, foolish players have managed to turn off a lifelong football fan and left him with a bad taste in his mouth about their sport. Shame on them.

      1. Karen thinks that the employees (1) who risk their lives playing the game (2) who train and practice to be the best in their field (3) who have their performance and career longevity judged at each game (4) who frequently behave as an inspiration to kids (has anyone been inspired by the nepotism-loving Bengals owners?) and (4) who give countless hours to community charities, are “spoiled and pampered”.

        Karen thinks that the owners, who may have inherited the teams or gotten them as alimony payments and, who likely never sacrificed anything comparable to the players… ever, are deserving of the biggest share of revenue derived from national team sports.
        The game can go on without the owners but not without the players, which tells us which party deserves the bigger split of revenue.
        Given Karen’s narrow vision, she probably thinks that a team’s business costs determine prices, instead of understanding that market demand sets price. The ratio that owners receive vs. players is the fundamental issue. The market determines the amount to be split.

          1. Karen quote, “Those pampered, spoiled, foolish players…shame on them.”

            Karen, I’m curious, has that uncle of yours listened to the “ignorant politics” on the network of Hannity and the admitted racist, Mark Furman?

            Linda quote, “Shame on Karen’s callous disregard for workers like those players, and for the 1,000,000 Irish who were allowed to starve to death because their rulers revered a flawed economic premise.”

            1. Linda – are you Irish? You have been harping on the Irish problem for some time now, but I don’t think you really know the history of the Irish problem and the English overlords. Unless you are all or half Irish STFU about the Irish problem, you are just showing your ignorance.

              1. Paul,
                Improvement on your illogic- best qualification to make comment in 2017 is dying from hunger in 1847 as a result of the potato famine.

                  1. Again, the Limbaugh argumentation technique- isolated case made into a generalization that indicts the whole.

                    Most people born in a nation of immigrants, couldn’t sluice out of their blood or saliva, a line of lineage isolated on the basis of “oppressor” not even descendants of Mayflower immigrants, since 20 generations have transpired since then.

                    1. Linda – I am only trying to indict you. So far, you have shown no empathy for the Irish, since you are clearly not Irish. So, the question is, were you an oppressor? And Opposer families go back to the 12th century. That predates the Mayflower.

                    2. Paul, I will bet you Linda has culturally appropriated from the Irish. She’s drank a Guiness or sat in an “Irish pub” (probably not a certified one at that!). She’s probably gone to those cultural events in which Irish-Scottish culture is heralded. (I’m of Irish-Scottish extraction if one goes back far enough and for the life of me I don’t get the whole celtic thing Americans seem to adore.)

                    3. And again there’s Linda repeating what Tom Steyer and Jeff Bezos and all their billions of dollars tell her to say since articulating a coherent point of view is too hard for liberals.

                1. The saliva comes out as British Isles and not as Irish. Most of my ancestors do come from southern Ireland but the test results show British Isles,Western Europe and Scandinavian. The French ancestors immigrated to Ireland. That I already knew. My fourth great grandmother married an English colonel who was stationed in County Kerry.The Scandinavian probably comes from the invaders to Normandy and the British Isles. The Scandinavian part was the only surprise.

                    1. Whoa there Paul.
                      “No standing to appeal”.
                      “More than 5 counties and limited to Southern Ireland.”
                      You’ve gone power mad.

                    2. I have gone to Ireland and met relatives in Kerry and East Cork. Don’t know of any family from the north.

            2. Capitalism didn’t cause the Potato Famine.

              The UK was heavily prejudiced against the Irish, and viewed the famine as a form of population control. Potatoes failed throughout Europe and the US, but there wasn’t a famine. The Irish were not allowed to hold land for generations, if they were Catholic. That was just lifted before the famine. The rents were so high that they were forced into serfdom, working landlords’ land to pay the rent, and then trying to feed their family for a year on a single acre. Potatoes were the only crop with sufficient calories that would work on such small acreage. Potatoes have little nutritive value, and if you depend on one single food source for survival, you are doomed if anything happens to that food source.

              Unemployment was incredibly high in Ireland at the time, with the only job basically a seasonal migrant worker. Middlemen working for absentee landlords squeezed more and more rents out of them. The Irish had no free speech, no rights, no effective representation in government…they were serfs. Scholars viewed the UK response as a callous attempt at genocide, the answer to “The Irish Question.” Ireland was the breadbasket of Europe. While the people starved, the landlords continued to export all of their food. They imposed tariffs on imported food which artificially inflated the cost of food for a nation that was almost 3/4 unemployed.

              There most certainly were not robust individual rights in Ireland. The Big Government most certainly did not use its ultimate control over the people as benign. The lack of free speech negatively impacted the crisis. This was essentially a feudal system in which the peasantry did not have the same rights as the gentry.

              You seem misinformed about the Irish situation, and apply it most inaccurately to modern day America. At this point, it appears you are being deliberately obtuse.

              As for my uncle, no, a man in his 80s who has been through the Great Depression and a war does not care to hear politics from rich young men with little world experience. He just wants to watch football. Most fans just want to watch football. If they want to hear politics, they tune into political shows. Football fans who are not feeling well most especially do not want the game, and TV commentary, clogged up with political grandstanding that does not actually help anyone. Political activism does not belong in the workplace. When you go to the store, do you want to hear Pro-Trump demonstrations or do you want to go shopping in peace? Do you want every single show on every single channel, every single store online or retail, every mechanic, doctors’ office, dentist, school, DMV, and every single other place where you would have to go during the day to be political? Because I don’t.

              Take what happened in Ireland in ’45 as a warning against the dangers of Big Government with weak individual rights.

              Your lack of empathy for a man in pain is telling. Perhaps you care more about people in the abstract than you do in reality.

          2. Karen wrote (to Linda): “You do not understand my position, and have absolutely no idea what I think.”

            “Those pampered, spoiled, foolish players have managed to turn off a lifelong football fan and left him with a bad taste in his mouth about their sport. Shame on them.” -Karen, in an earlier comment

            She knows what you “think” because you’ve told us.

              1. Darren thinks she is very smart and on his message. Don’t criticize or a deletion or stern warning will be on its way. Laughing out loud.

    1. “An open letter from American military veterans in support of Colin Kaepernick”

      “There are veterans who not only agree with Kaepernick’s right to protest, but also with how he did it”

      View story at Medium.com

      “This status quo outrages us as men and women who raised our right hands and pledged to defend, with our lives if necessary, a Constitution that proclaims intent to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty.” Those ideals are simply not being upheld for all Americans.

      “As veterans, we implore all Americans to find your own way to challenge this status quo and advocate for “a more perfect union.” Your method of protest may not be to refrain from the traditions surrounding our national symbols, and it doesn’t have to be. You have the same right as Colin Kaepernick to choose whether and how to advocate, a right we support and served for. However you choose to use your voice, please do so with an understanding that many veterans do not condemn the protest of activists like Jackie Robinson, Colin Kaepernick and everyday Americans seeking justice. Indeed, we see no higher form of patriotism.”

      1. There do exist liberals in the military. There are others who disagree with what you say, but will fight to the death to give you the right to say it. Disrespecting our flag, and by extension our military, is a form of free speech bought and paid for by our military since 1776.

        1. Those like Karen who use Trump’s labeling and his deliberate false connections between kneeling and disrespect for veterans to frame the Kaepernick protest are contemptible. Trump, a man who avoided serving when there was a draft and who disparaged POW’s like John McCain, gave up all moral authority on the subject of our military. The cavalier way Trump returns salutes to our soldiers is dismissive and reflects his Narcissism. America’s finer qualities are currently in the shadows because of the lying blowhard who occupies the Oval Office. With gratitude, we remember great generals like Marshall and Eisenhower who would never have shoved world leaders out of their way so that they could stand in front of them. That’s something that only a 5-year-old, who was a jerk and a bully would do.
          The sacrifices of servicemen have been diminished by the ease with which our nation’s security was potentially compromised. Trump’s inner circle proposing a backdoor channel of communication in the Russian embassy is without parallel.

          1. You might want to participate beyond rhetoric and focusing on personalities of the president. What actually matters is how policy is enacted, performed upon, and results that are actually relevant to both the lives of individuals, the economy, nation and future. It is one thing to take a holistic view of what constitutes governance and another to dwell on personal traits.

            The oddity among many neo-liberals is that President Trump is a detestable person at best and focus mainly on these perception of personality traits. Yet, when President Clinton exhibited unbecoming conduct, which in many ways his improprieties ultimately paved the roadway toward his eventual impeachment, liberals and Democrats made exceptions such as how Clinton was a bad person but these traits didn’t matter because they liked the results he provided through his governance.

            For everyone, fixating on personalities and other individuals to nearly an obsessive degree truly curtails learning and broadening one’s mind and understanding. It really is a high calling to spend time on ideas and bettering society than becoming static, stuck in one’s own prison.

          2. Linda – I both volunteered and avoided the draft. And I disparage John McCain all the time. Being a POW does not make you a hero, it makes you ineffective for the rest of the war. Plus, there is a better than even chance that McCain gave up sensitive information while he was a prisoner.

          3. McCain and moral in the same sentence is not a good choice Linda Google McCain and how he had the POW MIA records locked up. While you’re at it google his Daddy as well – a real patriot who swept the USS Liberty bombing under the rug.

            Also look at the Song Bird’s record on pushing wars and not doing a damn thing for Veterans. The Phoenix VA was (is??) one of the worst facilities in the nation.

            1. Autumn,
              Firemen who walked up the steps of the twin towers while others walked down to safety, put themselves in harm’s way, like POW’s did. And, for that act they deserve respect. Trump’s comment made it clear that his verbal attack was against all POW’s. Trump’s comments were just one more example of the utterances of a Narcisstic jerk with no values. I’m not going to make a case for the merits of John McCain beyond his willingness to put himself in harm’s way when Trump obviously avoided it repeatedly.

              1. Obama never served. At least Obama didn’t pull a Billy Blythe and write a letter to the local ROTC commander stating that military service might harm his future political aspirations. As for McCain, I recall about 9 years ago people just like you saying the most hateful, disrespectful things about him – questioning his inability to raise his arms above his head or use a computer the way you or I do. That you now pretend to support McCain is offensive.

                1. Never spoke about McCain when he was running for office except maybe questioning the Sarah Palin selection as V.P. I listened to the points McCain made then and subsequently, about S.C. and the confederate flag.

                  1. Sorry, I don’t buy it at all Linda. 2008 may seem like a lifetime ago but I remember the way you people brutalized McCain and his wartime service.

                    1. “Brutalized”- like the T. Boone Pickens-paid, swift boat captains’ campaign against Kerry? If criticisms about war service were made against McCain, they weren’t well-orchestrated and widely publicized like the attack on Kerry… until Trump made his nationally televised far-reaching disparagement of all POW’s including McCain.

                      “You people”?

                      Although Murdoch’s Fox uses “you people” propaganda as its stock and trade, as does A.M. talk radio, your, mine and the views of each individual like Karen, Paul, Squeeky, Turley, Autumn, vinegart , L4D aren’t one size fits all, which is why your labeling repeatedly fails to hit a mark.

                    2. John Kerry used his military service as a political tool. That’s why his one year tour in Vietnam ended 8 months early. And it’s why after Vietnam he became Mr. Anti-War Movement.

                      Brutalized? Yes. You people brutalized John McCain…blaming him for the conflaguration on board USS Forrestal and dubbing him “Maverick” in 2007-08.

                      And yes, you people. You stupid, stuck in the 1930s socialist Marxist moronic people that haven’t done a damned bit of good. In fact, the blood that’s on your hands – were a UN tribunal convened – would put most of you away for several lifetimes.

                    3. In an effort to keep up- are “you people” those who don’t have the saliva that would pass Paul’s test?

                    4. Now that we’re talking saliva, allow me to ask you Linda as a representative of you people, saliva analyzed for DNA will tell me which chromosome combinations represent a transgendered person?

                    5. In an effort to keep up…”you people” are all of the following, combined in one person -transgendered, leftist, communist, with the ancestry of oppressors (determined by a ratio of 50% or greater measured by saliva), McCain attackers who focused on his disability, and ….?

                    6. Interesting isn’t it that the Lindas, who used to deny to their last breath that they were communists, today come out and admit they are communists. I guess that’s where eight-years of fundamental transformation have taken us.

                    7. “You people” are Marxists/neo-Maoists. Over the generations, you’ve changed your names. Hundreds of years ago people like you supported the feudal structure. Then you cast your lots with the Fabians and nascent Marxists. Under Wilson and FDR you supported things like the APL (Wilson-era) and openly adored the NDSP in Germany (FDR-era at least until 1942). Then you became “liberals” and later “progressives”. You supported things like “sustainable economies”. And nowadays you exist as anti-science statists that would give your first born over to the state in the name of your sick and twisted agenda.

                      You people are exlusionary, divisive, intolerant, ignorant, and awash in greed.

                    8. I’m not aware of my former lives but, in the 1800’s some of my stock moved to Nebraska and farmed. Grandparents and great grandparents on both sides of the family voted Republican and Democratic and changed between parties on occasion. Relatives, distant and present, were conscripted, drafted or volunteered for various military campaigns in the countries in which they lived. One common thread is those in my family tree continuously contributed to productivity, having never been among the financial sector money shifters.
                      Is it possible the strings being pulled to divide “you people” and “we people”, are designed to enable concentration of wealth?
                      Six Walton heirs have wealth equivalent to 40% of Americans combined.

                    9. How rich are Tom Steyer and Jeff Bezos? And yes, by you people I refer to you lousy neo-Maoist/Marxists that think you are fighting for SJ when in fact you are enslaving the people you claim to want to help the most. I used to be like you. I voted blue. I was involved in the Green Party. I had a copy of “The Green Alternative” by Green Party legend Tokar beside a used copy of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto on my bookshelf. Then I wised up.

                    10. Connections rare in the world construct of Paul as contrasted with “you people” world, where connected conspiracies exist and transcend time. Got it.

                    11. Lay off the bong or the bottle a little bit and try again. Gibberish will get you nowhere Linda.

                    12. andrewworkshop – today is the first day CA has recreational pot. She is probably higher than a kite.

                    13. She must be. I haven’t heard such lunacy since we lived in CA (we were there 2005 until 2016) and the SDSU kiddies would hit the bars on Friday nights.

        2. Karen S – I am just sure that both sides would love to have Colin suited up and fighting next to them for his country, the one he has been whining about.

        3. “…many veterans do not condemn the protest of activists like Jackie Robinson, Colin Kaepernick and everyday Americans seeking justice. Indeed, we see no higher form of patriotism.”

          Again: “Indeed, we see no higher form of patriotism.”

          1. The highly paid PR staff of men like the Koch’s worked overtime to portray and convince citizens that the Republicans were the party of patriotism. It was a particularly difficult advertising campaign (1) given the demographics of the soldiers after the draft was eliminated (2) given the number of American jobs Republicans outsourced (3) their replacement of American companies with global conglomerates and (4) the oligarchy they installed to replace a representative government that was based on democratic principles.
            (Oligarch Murdoch helped out.)
            Karen and her family reflect the success of the PR undertaking and the richest 400 families cheer.

            1. 1) Just what is that demographic of all the all volunteer service.
              2) NAFTA outsourced those jobs. NAFTA was a Clinton thing.
              3) What kind of car do you drive?
              4) Glad to hear that you admit Obama, the Clintons, and DNC are oligarchs.

              1. Is your point that neither party is acting in the best interests of the 99% of Americans who don’t have power backed by money? If so, on a continuum, which party introduces and votes for more legislation that is aimed at benefitting those who aren’t among the richest 1%? A few examples- workman’s comp, S.S., Medicare, legal representation for the indigent, consumer protection….

          2. A “justice” no one in the NFL seems able to articulate.

            The real deal is this: NFL players are too dumb to realize they are being used as useful idiots in a larger leftist plot to get rid of professional football.

            1. If we buy the talking points of Fox and A.M. radio, why would the “leftist” party want an end to one of the biggest sources of its donations, the entertainment industry which includes football players.

            2. Or, are the people being used… those helping right wing broadcasters in a bargaining position with the NFL? Was the occasion of football players kneeling, a fortuitous event that right wing businessmen capitalized on? Credit where credit is due- A.M. talk radio and Fox convinced their listeners that somehow the protest was linked to veterans and boycotting was the right consumer response.
              Expect a pivot after negotiations. Remember Trump’s pivot to the same businessmen after the election and his abandonment of the 99%?

      1. She keeps doggedly bringing up the Irish, the victims of a Big Government genocide, not realizing her example proves why we must not give up our individual rights to an all powerful government that promises to care for us.

        1. Your “populist” President won and, he immediately filled his cabinet with the errand boys of the climate-denying Koch’s. Trump moved the Israeli capital because Adelson wanted it done. Bannon was ushered into the WH because of his Mercer connections. Trump encouraged attacks on a free press and cozied up the media owned by oligarch, Murdoch. And,Trump fully intended to deliver to Putin the U.S. position that the Kremlin wanted.
          How does all of that play out for the Republic created on the foundation of democracy that you seem to advocate for mindlessly, blathering Fox’ s talking points?

          What can never be forgiven in your vote, is that it delivered on the peril warned by world-renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking – the end of the planet estimated at 100 years.

  7. Oh say can you see!
    By the dawn’s early light.
    That the game has gone bad…
    And the players are dumb dorks.
    While the rocket red glares and
    Bombs go bursting at night…
    The players suck corn and think they are right.

    Its time to stop going ..
    Its time to stop going….
    For games are dumbed down!
    And they should, move out. of town.

  8. This is from Mikey Pence’s home state that was ready to oust him as governor before he was tapped for VP. This is the same state where candidate Richard Mourdock famously claimed that it is God’s will when a woman is impregnated as a result of a rape. (God wants women to get raped?) Oh, and don’t forget “Tennessee Trey” Hollingsworth whose millionaire daddy purchased him a congressional seat in good ol’ Indiana, where money talks. Therefore, profoundly stupid things coming from Indiana aren’t very surprising.

      1. How is Voter ID far right? Do you object to requiring someone prove they are an eligible voter? Or do you object based on the often used argument that some people are challenged to get the ID? Or is it something else? Let’s identify your objection and then see if there is a reasonable solution.

        1. Have no problem with showing ID, I do have a problem when the state of Indiana could not prove to the Supreme Court that there was a voter ID problem. The state produced no evidence…5-4 in favor for ID laws. They close BMV offices in poor areas, college picture ID given to students by the state cannot be used. VA cards with no picture can be used. In the state you have to show picture ID to register to vote and prove with home bills etc, Look up yourself on voter ID laws state by state and all you get is one big hassle and money out of your pocket. And the former secretary of state for the state of Indiana went to jail for voting twice, once at his wife’s house and once at his girlfriend’s house. It’s only far-right when they do everything they can to stop people from voting..

    1. “Profoundly stupid” like stacking the Board of Trustees of the state’s premier public university, Purdue, with the richest 1% (members of the regional Chamber of Commerce), which gave them the authority to corporatize the school. “Profoundly sad” because state universities were created so that the middle class and poor could gain admittance to a quality, reasonably priced college based on merit, instead of being turned down by legacy-admission, expensive private universities.

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