Saints Coach Explains Why His Players Knelt During Tribute To Murdered Officer

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton offered an explanation for his players kneeling during a tribute to Officer Marcus McNeil.

New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton responded to criticism of his players kneeling during a tribute to murdered New Orleans Officer Marcus McNeil on Sunday.

In his response, Payton said that it was all a “misunderstanding,” according to The Advocate.

The crowd loudly booed as the Saints players kneeled during the moment of silence before the anthem.

Payton says that the players had a plan to kneel in protest before the anthem and they just stuck with the plan even when the tribute to Officer McNeil was added.

Payton said that the players didn’t know ahead of time that there would be a moment of silence for Officer McNeil when they planned their protest.

"You had a triangular effect of misunderstanding," Payton said, according to Joel Erickson with The Advocate.

“It was very simple. No. 1, the players were going to kneel and stand for the anthem, that's understood.

“Then No. 2, there was a moment of silence for the slain officer, and everyone realized, let's have a moment of silence. I don't think it was anything more than that."

While the Saints kneeled, none of the Lions players kneeled.

All players stood during the national anthem.

New Orleans Police Department Officer Marcus McNeil, 29, was murdered early Friday morning.

NOLA.com reports that video was recovered which shows that Officer McNeil wasn't ambushed as initially reported.

The incident happened just after midnight when a group of three officers on patrol spotted something suspicious.

Officer McNeil stepped out of his car to investigate and was alone when he got into a scuffle with the suspect. Officer McNeil tried to Taser the suspect, who then shot him repeatedly.

On video of the incident Officer McNeil could be heard screaming, then there was a final shot and Officer McNeil was found dead with his gun still in its holster.

Other officers arrived and shot the suspect, who then ran into an apartment.

The gunman remained barricaded in the apartment until he eventually surrendered to a SWAT team.

Officer Marcus McNeil leaves behind his wife, Brittiny, and two small children.

Brittiny told New Orleans Magazine that Officer McNeil had always wanted to join New Orleans PD because he wanted to make a difference in the city which is plagued with crime and poverty.

Officer McNeil's killer was identified as Darren Bridges. He was in possession of various controlled substances at the time of his arrest.

Comments (38)
No. 1-38
LEO0301
LEO0301

There was no misunderstanding. This is typical behavior of the low life's who call themselves NFL players.

jimT
jimT

Betting money that the moment of silence was announced loudly and clearly prior to it happening. These low lifes chose to kneel and disrespect his memory.

wfwjr2000
wfwjr2000

THERE IS NO REASON FOR THAT KIND OF INSULT TO A FALLEN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. The Players that knelt are an insult to the human race.

mileaway
mileaway

NEVER AGAIN will I spend ONE PENNY on the NFL or its sponsors!!! I am so finished with their ghetto politics and disrespect. I have much better things to do with my time and money. Fallen Officers Fund for one. More Family time and many other America supporting sports. (NOT NASCAR! They wear vagina hats too!) Hear me NFL, you are dead in my eyes!

merelyashadow
merelyashadow

R.I.P. Officer McNeil. My sincerest prayers and condolences for his family.

td178
td178

They new exactly what they were doing. All of this protesting began with Kaepernick's hatred for law enforcement and his association with BLM. They new.

BMartino
BMartino

This is such BS. They knew what they were doing and did it to make a statement. I love my home town but this is simply a discrase to all from NOLA. I once would of never thought of not being a fan - Not I’m disgusted that I ever associated myself this team.

TB262
TB262

No misunderstanding, the players were one their knee and the coach is backing them all the way. With the stance that Patton has taken lately, as a Saints fan for many years, I think it is time to change Coach.

amtexas
amtexas

BS!!! The Morons are protesting cops!! The fact that black thugs are getting shot and deserve it so I DO NOT BELIEVE THEIR LIES!

Dances_With_Skunks
Dances_With_Skunks

That's a crock of $hit. They could have stood up immediately if that were the case. He can take that football and shove it. National FELONS League little punk a$$ criminals!

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

If I were NOPD Superintendent I would never allow another police detail again nor provide any police security of any kind for any Saints games. I hope the fans keep turning off the TV and not showing up to the games, when they go out of business maybe the XFL will rise again. At least the cheerleader shots were worth watching.

RSwanson
RSwanson

The coach needs to be fined along with the players or fired, he is in charge of his team, see if they back him or leave him out to hang

BoycottNFL
BoycottNFL

Imagine that....a stadium with thousands of people in it knew there was a moment of silence for the fallen officer. How is it the players didn't hear the announcement? NO WAY I'm buying this save the NFL lie. #BoycotttheNFL #BoycottNFLSponsors #BoycottNFLMerchandise

Foundoutwest11
Foundoutwest11

What is really sad is the police are not killing all the folks, it is crime ridden city's killing each other. But blame the police, this blame game has gone on for years.. the pro stars should get the facts before the have no game to play or to make millions teaching the kids of tomorrow on how to disrespect the elders

SueF
SueF

We stand & bow our heads in respect for a moment of silence. We don't add fuel to an already explosive situation & then pretend it wasn't in protest of the POLICE that you say you were giving that moment for. Respect would have been to stand & bow your heads!

itsashame
itsashame

My deepest sympathy to Officer McNeil's family. Thank you for protecting us. I'm so sorry others want to protest our officer's protecting our cities. What would we do without them. As for the Saints, I just shake my head.

EthanGreaser
EthanGreaser

Best Headline: Players disrespect innocent hero killed by sick-minded retard in protest of President Trump.

mike209
mike209

It is now up to Saint's fans to make a statement! The Stadium should be nearly empty next home game! For Sean Payton to be so dishonest and dismissive about it shows a lack of honor! These are men being that have no ability it seems to do any research of their own to learn stats about police shootings, & the lack of drive to go on ride along's during the most dangerous patrols with police to try understand what police deal with! Screw the [players

believer2003
believer2003

there was a time I liked football, I am now regretting ever watching a game.

NativeTucsonan
NativeTucsonan

What a PoS. Of course, the entire team couldn’t hear the announcer. Even if one person did, there’s this kiddie game we used to play called “telephone”. That could’ve easily gotten the team to stand, but no, the entire team decided to play dumb, deaf, & blind to disrespect not only a police officer, but a “black” police officer. Right, I forgot, Officer Marcus McNeil wasn’t black, he was blue. So that automatically makes him the enemy. This disrespect for OUR police, OUR military, OUR country has gone way too far, & that’s an understatement. I’m at the point where the people that are still showing up to watch the blatant disrespect are just as bad as the players. Why? Because the ONLY thing that will make a difference is by hitting the NFL in the pocketbook. I know people are holding signs for the players to stand, but the NFL & players don’t care because you’re still there watching the game. In simple terms it’s enabling. #BoycottTheNFL #HonorTheFallen #ThankTheLiving

NurseCop
NurseCop

"A triangular effect of misunderstanding"......seriously, Coach? Your assistant coaches and players memorize intricate plays, signals, and rules, as well as the statistics and subtleties of your opponents. I've worked many details in the Superdome, providing a safe environment for you, your staff, your players, and your fans. I know all too well the noise issues that exist in that environment, but Drew Brees himself acknowledged that there was prior knowledge of Marcus's moment of tribute...yet. these agile minds were incapable of coordinating ONE MINUTE of undivided attention for the ultimate sacrifice of a dedicated policeman who gave the rest of his entire life for his community. Absolutely shameless that y'all would come out publicly with such an incredibly lame excuse. Marcus was only a 3 year veteran, but was well-respected and liked by his peers, a native of New Orleans who saw the effects of crime on his city and deeply committed himself to making a difference. His beloved wife is naturally devastated, and his young children will only know their Daddy from photos and stories. His friends and colleagues will mourn his passing from their midst. I've already mailed my Saints "Salute to Service" Drew Brees jersey to him at their headquarters because I could never bear to even look at it again, let alone actually wear it. No doubt, if I were still in uniform, I'd be rejecting ANY details having to do with the Saints. Godspeed Marcus McNeil.

Weeder
Weeder
  1. What's the advocate a gay rag Got to Do with It.
Weeder
Weeder
  1. Bullshit!
Weeder
Weeder
  1. Teams and coaches are always told before a game if there is something special going on.
bjohnson213
bjohnson213

I hope my only NFL team I have supported my entire 57 years on this planet enjoyed your ridiculous misunderstanding. Good BYE you pathetic, disrespectful, weak willed, gutless Saints and GOOD BYE NFL. Football day and family day is now Saturday. GO SEC!!!!!!

SomeGuy
SomeGuy

You people are all savages.

sickofdisrespect
sickofdisrespect

Getting so tired if the whining cry babies. Hope the fire everyone one of them. RIP Officer McNeil. Thank you for wearing Blue Proudly. Prayers to you family, fellow officers and friends. NFL your disgusting. Shame on you coach and players.

Budsma
Budsma

I think first off he is the dumbest coach in professional football if he thought that this was a good idea of respect.....does he read the paper or hear any news at all???? Secondly, I honestly don't believe a word of it, I think he is just covering his ass after a bad judgement instead of owning up.... and Sean it's too late now.....

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I certainly doubt ANYONE believes what he said..........

bronx163
bronx163

Coach F.U. Cop was sla Ned in the line of duty and your NATIONAL FELON LEAGUE ANIMALS TO A KNEE. DISGRACEFUL. REMEMBER WHEN YOU ARE GETTING HOME INVADED, ROBBED, SHOT, REMEMBER ITS THE MEN AND LADIES IN BLUE WITH GUNBELTS WHO RESPOND NOT MEMBERS OF NATIONAL FELON LEAGUE. NEW ORLEANS SHOULD NOT PROVIDE PRIVATE POLICE SERVICES TO THAT GAME LET THEM HIRE SECURITY AND THEY SHOULD DO RANDOM DWI CHECK POINT OUTSIDE STADIUM AND SPEED ENFORCENMENT FOREVER.

Popeye
Popeye

bronx163, private security cannot do DWI checks or speed enforcement. They are not police officers.

Cooper
Cooper

I have no words to describe what happened. But I tell you my blood pressure is sky high right now!!

Cooper
Cooper

I DO CHALLENGE ANYONE WHO IS GOJNG TO THEIR NEXT HOME GAME, NOT TO GO!!

Cooper
Cooper

STAY HOME AND DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR FAMILY ON SUNDAY. Right now the way I see Football, is that it’s a stupid little game where ball- less men are running around a field to catch a stupid little ball! And getting paid millions to do that!!

Notsoswift
Notsoswift

Why am I not surprised that the Saints coach, with the history he's had, would defend this crap. Remember the scandal, of them trying to put bounties on other players? Just like the Seattle coach, always having a two year old temper tantrum over his players getting penalties. If they weren't obsessed with disrespecting the flag, they would have been standing during the minute of silence! As for the coach, and the Saints; ** you! What I don't understand, is why were there fans there to boo in the first place? Join the boycott. Go SECC, College football Saturdays, are so much more fun to watch anyway. The NFL players must be too stupid to understand that you can't gain sympathy from fans, for your social justice, by massively offending the people you want that sympathy from! Had they gotten past their $ greed, and gotten together to put together a commercial, asking for inclusive, or increased training in policing, with minorities, I'm guessing, their would have been a totally different outcome. Instead; taking the strategy from something akin to, Alynski's "Rules for Radicals," isn't going to work on a population who actually asks the question; Why didn't those who were killed by Police, just do as instructed? Why did they resist arrest? Why were they slinging dope? 3X's as many white's are killed by Police. I had an inmate tell me years ago, (he was black, and a pretty decent guy, who looked like eddie murphy), tell me, that there is a cultural thing, where black men do NOT like to be told what to do, and they will resist. If this is true of a majority of black offenders, perhaps Police need to be trained a little more about race relations, and psychology, to achieve more peaceable enforcement. I'm not racist, and I'm not saying all black people fit that description. But the source was a black guy in prison, in for drug distribution. Who interestingly had a degree from ASU, and saved enough $ from his career in drug sales, to pay for his children's college! I don't know what to think about that, except he said it was his last time down, and planned to do something legit when he got out. I can only pray he will!

FormerDeputy
FormerDeputy

What I heard: "My players are either TOO DUMB or TOO UNCARING to differentiate between a tribute to a dead Hero or the National Anthem. That's my story and I'm sticking with it."

CatherineC
CatherineC

I’m curious about the statistics of how many totally unarmed, innocent people are killed by the police? As opposed to the police having to use the necessary force against armed or unarmed criminals during the commission of a violent felony. It seems to me that most innocent victims of murders are Police Officers. How many Cops murdered this year? How many murdered innocent civilians? How many Cops indicted of murder or even manslaughter? Not many I bet. A Cops worst nightmare is being involved in a deadly shooting or any violent situation. Cops just want to come home to their families alive in one piece. Any Cops out there itching for a violent confrontation just resign and do us all a favor.

Doc45
Doc45

Here is my answer losers!