Indiana Considering Bill To Refund Fans Offended By Anthem Protests

Screengrab/King Neil/YouTube

The ACLU says the law violates free speech, but Rep. Milo Smith disagrees because it doesn't stop players from kneeling.

Legislation put forth by an Indiana state Republican would compel the Indianapolis Colts to hand out refunds to any offended fans if a Colts player kneels during the national anthem while playing at home.

Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, said his bill would allow fans who feel disrespected by the kneeling to ask for a refund during the first quarter.

"To me when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country," Smith said. "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 was one of those offended fans in September, when several members of the team took a knee, along with about 200 other players across the NFL, in response to President Donald Trump's disparaging words about the movement to protest police brutality.

Jane Henegar, executive director of ACLU Indiana, said his proposal could be a constitutional violation.

"In effect by passing the law, government would be weighing in...and fining political speech by the Indianapolis Colts," Henegar said. "It seems like the worst thing that could happen is government weighing in and trying to control in any direction the political speech of private actors."

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