UPDATE: The owner of the Saints is out with his statement, after quarterback Drew Brees announced that the team will kneel before the national anthem before Sunday’s game.
Benson said that honoring the men and women in the military is important, but he is ready to provide support and resources to move from protests to solution.
“Now more than ever we must find solutions that unite and don’t divide us,” Benson said.
Brees tweeted out early this morning that the team will kneel before the national anthem.
Read Tom Benson’s full statement below:
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.
Today, Drew Brees and team leadership stated that our team will stand for the national anthem. Regarding the issues of social injustice, I stand ready to offer our organizations, our players, and our community meaningful support and resources to move from protest to solution.
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.
The New Orleans Saints plan to kneel and stand as a team during Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
In a tweet posted early Friday morning, Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote that “as a way to show respect to all, our Saints team will kneel in solidarity prior to the national anthem and stand together during the anthem.”
The Dallas Cowboys did the same during Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Several members of the Saints took a knee in last Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, leading to backlash from state lawmakers and Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser saying he won’t go to any future games.