Saints Coach Sean Payton speaks out against guns after former player Will Smith’s death

New Orleans Coach Sean Payton stands on the sideline during a game against Arizona in 2013.

New Orleans Coach Sean Payton stands on the sideline during a game against Arizona in 2013.

(Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton doesn’t consider himself to be an extreme liberal, but he’s about as far left as you can get on at least one major issue.

“I hate guns,” he told USA Today on Monday, two days after the shooting death of former Saints defensive end Will Smith.

According to Payton, U.S. gun laws are ridiculously outdated. “The idea that we need them to fend off intruders,” he said. “People are more apt to draw them [in other situations]. That’s some silly stuff we’re hanging on to.”

See more of our top stories on Facebook >>


Smith, 34, was killed and his wife, Racquel, was injured Saturday night in what has been labeled by police as a case of road rage about eight blocks from Payton’s house in the Garden District of New Orleans.

Payton drove to the site of the incident the next morning, then spent several hours at the hospital where Smith’s wife was undergoing surgery. Upon returning home, Payton researched online about the weapon that killed his former player.

“It was a large caliber gun. A .45,” Payton said.

“We could go online and get 10 of them, and have them shipped to our house tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms.”

And now, Payton said, another life has come to a tragically early ending.

Get the latest in sports with our free newsletter >>

“I know he was going to be a heck of a coach. He had such a presence about him,” Payton said of Smith. “Not only would he have made the transition to be a great defensive line coach, he had all the tools to become a head coach.

“We just don’t get to see those chapters. All the chapters before now were great. But it’s sad that we won’t see the next chapters.”


Twitter: @chewkiii


Jose Reyes’ domestic abuse charge gets dropped

Veteran safety Donte Whitner attracts interest from Rams


Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez wants to fight Gennady Golovkin -- the question is when