New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is a proud military veteran — and his team will be standing for the national anthem, period.
Benson issued a statement on Friday revealing that his team will honor the U.S. military and American flag:
One of the things I am most proud of is my military service. And there are few things that are more important to me than the honor that I feel we must bestow upon our military men and women — the honor we must show our flag — and standing at attention for our flag and our national anthem is a powerful symbol we must respect.
As an owner in the NFL and NBA for years, I have met many players, coaches and staff from seemingly every background possible. But as this week has demonstrated, there are very sensitive, difficult and emotional matters affecting this country. Now more than ever we must find solutions that unite and don’t divide us.
On the issue of “social injustice,” Benson said the Saints organization is dedicated to achieving meaningful solutions, rather than just protest.
We have spoken to our state leadership in Governor Jon Bel Edwards — he is also ready to do what he can with us to affect positive change.
With my heart, I respect everyone’s very honest and sincere opinions that I have heard personally on this subject all week. We are committed to work with our players and our community to be unified to create positive change for all citizens.
Along the way, when presented the opportunity — I offer that we all thank a military man or woman and honor our flag and anthem — it is that freedom that is allowing us this discussion today. We should and must use this most powerful of platforms to help heal.
Other NFL teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos, have vowed to stand for the national anthem going forward.