Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said she refused to go to NFL games last season because of players protesting during the national anthem and will not renew her season tickets this year.
Black, who is running for governor in Tennessee, made her comments in a column posted on OutKicktheCoverage.com.
"When the National Football League's Oilers moved from Houston to Nashville, my husband Dave and I were first in line for season tickets," she said. "Sports have always been an important part of our lives, and having an NFL team in our city was a dream come true.
"We love going to the Titans games — spending Sunday afternoons with family and fellow Tennesseans, as well as opposition fans that we politely welcome to our city before watching their team crumble under the weight of a superior team and a superior fan base.
"That's why I was so disappointed to see the NFL and its players disrespect our flag and our anthem during this last season."
When she first saw the protests, she and her husband made the decision to stay home rather than attend games.
"We decided that our season tickets would remain in a drawer all season and our seats would remain empty," she said. "We didn't attend or watch a single NFL game this season."
She said the protests are insulting to those who serve in the nation's armed forces and to police.
Black acknowledged there have been some incidents of "improper actions in law enforcement."
"But these situations do not justify the generic demonization of hard-working, dedicated police officers across the country," she maintained.
"The men and women in law enforcement wake up every morning and risk their lives for our safety. They go to work knowing that there's a chance they may not make it home that night."
And she added: "These are people worth honoring, not insulting. And that's the message the American people sent to the NFL this fall. Television ratings for the league were down almost 10 percent over last season, and stadiums around the country sat half empty, even during the playoffs. This will continue until the NFL shows us that it has heard our voice."
For now, her family plans to spend the time fishing on Sundays and not attending NFL games.
"We are sending a package to the Titans this week to let them know," she said. "Along with a letter explaining why we won't renew our tickets, we will send them back the unused tickets from last season."
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