Commander John Wells, retired, wasn't just a hero on the battlefield.

The disabled Navy vet , now executive director of Military Veterans Advocacy, has declined to accept an aware from the New Orleans Saints. Reason: a number of Saints players have joined their fellow NFL millionaires in refusing to stand for the national anthem.

Wells was slated to receive the Peoples Health Advocacy award from the Saints. Instead he issued a terrific statement:

“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players' disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation,” Wells said. "I am unable, in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium while this discourtesy prevails. Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it.”

In response, the Saints issued a pathetic statement:

“We will not allow Mr. Wells' decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans. We, as an organization, have decided to move on from this sad and divisive discourse and focus our attention on supporting our military and veterans.”

Gotta love that "subsequent media appearances"–so Commander Wells is just a publicity hound using those self-less NFL players to get attention?

 And,  by the way, as for "focus[ing] our attention on supporting our military and veterans," at least one vet has given the sanctimonious Saints a hint on one way to do that: honor the national anthem of the country for which vets fought and in which many NFL players have become millionaires many times over.

The kneeling was given impetus by the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The shooting was later deemed to be tragic but justified. I am sickened whenever there is an instance of police brutality but some of the rationale behind the kneeling protests seems to be that this is a racist nation of killer cops.

Still, the NFL is welcome to protest but the fans, who have helped make these players rich, don't seem to care for it. The fans can protest , too (here and here).