CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A video of a local Colts fan burning his season tickets in response to players kneeling during the national anthem has racked up more than 1 million views online.
Rodney Heard said he doesn’t plan on watching the NFL — in person or on TV — for at least the rest of this season. He owned four sets of season tickets, or four seats at Lucas Oil Stadium, until he tossed them into a fire in a viral video.
“I wanted (Indianapolis Colts owner) Jim Irsay to see it and I want him to know that there are people out here that (the protests) offends,” Heard said. “The national anthem means something to ‘em, and we’re paying customers.”
Heard was a die-hard Colts fan who served with the U.S. Marines. His grandfathers also served.
He said, to him, the anthem and flag represent Americans who fought and died for their country. Heard said one of the things they fought and died for is freedom of speech.
“I don’t disagree with (the players’) right to protest, but I think they’re protesting the wrong thing. They’re protesting the actual flag and the national anthem that gives them that freedom,” Heard said.
But quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he was protesting police brutality against African-Americans.
Nine Colts took a knee Sunday after President Donald Trump criticized the protests, including Darius Butler. Butler’s dad and brother served in the U.S. Army.
“I just wanted to be clear which side I was on,” Butler said. “I have people who look up to me, and this is my platform to keep a conversation going.”
Shannon Turner of Muncie burned his Colts jerseys Sunday and posted the video to Facebook, which has now been viewed thousands of times.
Heard said he spent thousands of dollars on the tickets. He said he considered selling the tickets or giving them away, but he wants his seats to stay empty.
“I just think the politics shouldn’t have a place in sports,” he said.
Other fans from teams across the country have posted similar videos, burning tickets and team clothing.