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An Indiana lawmaker is pushing for legislation that would require the Indianapolis Colts franchise to offer refunds to fans who take offense to Colts players taking a knee during the national anthem. As reported by the Indianapolis Star, Republican Milo Smith of Columbus said fans could request a refund of their ticket cost during the first quarter of the game.
"To me when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country," Smith told the Star. "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."
Smith attended a Colts-Browns games in September, before which numerous Colts took a knee.
"I'm pretty patriotic, and it didn't sit right with me," Smith said.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana from 2013-17, attended a Colts game in October. Pence left the game when San Francisco 49ers players took a knee. Pence called the protest disrespectful to America.
I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
Colts players have joined hundreds of others around the league in taking a knee during the national anthem as a silent protest of racial injustice. The protests were started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 preseason.
Controversially, Kaepernick has not been signed to an NFL team since his contract expired at the end of last season. Many have speculated that his protest is the reason for his unemployment.
Diddy, who has expressed interest in buying the Carolina Panthers, has said his first order of business would be signing Kaepernick.