- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Marine veteran from Indiana further highlighted the NFL’s public relations nightmare this week by burning season tickets over the league’s tolerance of national anthem protests.

Rodney Heard of Carmel is making waves with Indianapolis Colts fans over a Facebook video that shows the destruction of his season tickets. The U.S. Marine Corps veteran’s angry message for the NFL was featured by local Fox News and CW affiliates after players took a knee during Sunday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I’ve loved the NFL, I always have,” Mr. Heard said in a video posted Monday. “I’ve always been a huge fan. Wish I could’ve played in the NFL if I’ve had the athletic ability. Instead, I went into the Marine Corps. I served my country, my grandfather served our country, both of them served in WWII. There’s a lot of people that fought and died for that flag and to be disrespected yesterday, like we did, and I’m done.”

The Facebook clip was viewed nearly 125,000 times within 24 hours, not counting those who saw it on local newscasts.

League-wide protests, which first began in 2016 with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, exploded over the weekend after President Trump said on-field activism should be prohibited.

“We’re proud of our country,” Mr. Trump told a Huntsville, Alabama, crowd last Friday. “We respect our flag. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!’”

Colts owner Jim Irsay released this statement on Saturday saying he was “troubled” by the speech.

“Sports in America have the unique ability to bring people from all walks of life and from different points of view together to work toward or root for a common goal, and the Indianapolis Colts are proud to be a part of that tradition in our home city and state,” Mr. Irsay said.

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