State senator plans to sit out rest of Titans season over anthem protests

(Courtesy: Daishawn Hayes)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – State Senator Paul Bailey, of Sparta, is making a strong statement Tuesday in regard to the #TakeAKnee protests making waves across the country.

As more football players and teams are refusing to stand during the national anthem, Sen. Bailey says he’s done supporting the league.

He posted on Facebook over the weekend, “I will not lend support for those who would disrespect America, by refusing to pause and stand in honor of our National Anthem.”

Paul Bailey (Courtesy: TN.gov)

Bailey said Tuesday he’s making good on that promise and leaving his 50-year-line season ticket seats empty at Nissan Stadium.

“I won’t witness the hijacking of pre-game ceremonies that disrespect our flag and challenge the honor of any of the men or women who have sacrificed to preserve our freedoms to enjoy these leisure-time activities,” the state senator explained.

The value of his seats will be split between two organizations– C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors), an organization which provides assistance to the families of fallen law enforcement officers, and the Upper Cumberland Honor Guard, which provides a proper military burial for veterans.

In a press release, Sen. Bailey added, “My donation to these two organizations is meant to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our communities, as well as veterans no longer among us to stand in respect to our flag. I encourage others to do the same.”

The state senator noted his actions are not done in his role as an elected official, but as a Titan fan and season ticket holder.