SNAP demands response from New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, wants answers from the New Orleans Saints football team.

The group plans an event Wednesday morning at the team's Metairie practice facility, during which time they say they will demand that the team release emails exchanged between Saints public relations staff and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that the team was going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control for the area’s Roman Catholic archdiocese to help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis.

Several days ago, the Saints released a statement saying they were just one of several New Orleans business leaders contacted by the Archdiocese for advice on how to "handle" the media. The statement indicates the Saints' officials told the Archdiocese to be direct and transparent. To read about that, check out this WGNO story.

Today, SNAP says they are demanding that the Saints release the emails, and they're asking the NFL to intervene. They also want local police and prosecutors to launch an investigation into sexual abuse in the Archdiocese.

"SNAP is extremely alarmed by the news that the New Orleans Saints football team is refusing to release the emails between it and the Archdiocese of New Orleans," a release from SNAP reads. "While the collusion between the two organizations is disturbing enough, in refusing to be 'direct, open, and transparent' about what transpired, the Saints appears to be using National Football League assets to undermine the efforts of abuse survivors seeking justice through the courts. Now, SNAP is calling for a public apology from the Saints' ownership, as well as a pledge from them to support victims of abuse in the Catholic Church, not just the institution where the crimes occurred."

“The survivors, family members of victims, and children of Louisiana deserve a formal apology from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the New Orleans Saints football organization, and the National Football League,” said Richard Windmann, SNAP Louisiana leader. “But words aren’t enough, and we call on Gayle Benson and the Saints to take real, concrete steps towards supporting survivors of abuse.”

“Ms. Benson and her team lent their expertise to the Archdiocese, so we call on them to do the same for victims who are fighting for transparency and reform,” said Kevin Bourgeois, SNAP New Orleans Le...

Read the rest of the story here.

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