Tennessee lawmaker plans to introduce bill to pull state support for Titans after NFL protests

Tennessee Titans players walk to the field with arms linked after the national anthem had been played before an NFL football game between the Titans and the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Neither team stood on the field for the anthem. From left are Delanie Walker (82), Marcus Mariota (8), Wesley Woodyard (59), Jurrell Casey (99) and Brian Orakpo (98). (AP Photo/James Kenney)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee House member wants the state to pull funding for professional teams in the wake of protests over the national anthem.

Representative Judd Matheny, who is also running for Congress, said he wants to stop items like government bonds, tax breaks and land giveaways for teams. Under the bill he is working on, he says teams will have to buy land with their own money and pay taxes like everyone else.

The proposed bill comes after President Donald Trump’s comments Friday in Huntsville. President Trump said, “wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when someone disrespects our flag say ‘Get that son of [explicit] off the field right now? Out. He’s fired.”

The Titans Sunday in Nashville, along with the visiting Seattle Seahawks, stayed in their locker rooms for the national anthem.

Delanie Walker, Marcus Mariota, Wesley Woodyard , Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo
Tennessee Titans players walk to the field with arms linked after the national anthem had been played before an NFL football game between the Titans and the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Neither team stood on the field for the anthem. From left are Delanie Walker (82), Marcus Mariota (8), Wesley Woodyard (59), Jurrell Casey (99) and Brian Orakpo (98). (AP Photo/James Kenney)

Previous story: Titans stay in locker room during National Anthem, release statement

“If they are going to slap us in the face when we give them subsidies, then we are going to stop it,” added Rep. Matheny.

When the Titans came to Nashville in the late 1990s, part of the nearly 300 million stadium deal was 55 million in state bonds. Matheny would end that and any future such practices for Tennessee pro-teams once current obligations are met, but many team supporters say the state gets it back and much more in Titans game day sales tax revenue that pay for the bonds.

How much support the bill gets going forward will be something to watch. Rep. Matheny claims he will eventually have it.

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