NFL Coach on Shooting Death of Former Player: ‘I Hate Guns’

Saints couch Sean Payton. (Photo:

Saints coach Sean Payton. (Photo:

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton made no bones about his hatred of guns following the shooting death of his former player, Will Smith, who was killed following a suspected road-rage incident Saturday evening in the city’s Lower Garden District.

“I hate guns,” he told USA Today Sports in a phone interview. “I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can’t wrap my brain around it.”

Payton, who won the Super Bowl in 2010, seemed to not care if his comments on one’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms offends football fans or Louisiana gun owners.

“So be it,” he said, when asked if those comments might make him unpopular amongst Bayou State residents.

“I’ve heard people argue that everybody needs a gun,” he said. “That’s madness. I know there are many kids who grow up in a” hunting environment. I get that. But there are places, like England, where even the cops don’t have guns.”

The man who shot Smith was identified as 28-year-old Cardell Hayes, who was arrested and charged with 2nd-degree murder following the shooting.

However, Hayes’ attorney said that his client was not the aggressor in the altercation, noting that Hayes called 911 before discharging his weapon, secured a witness at the scene and waited until authorities arrived (instead of fleeing).

“Tell me if that’s the behavior that’s consistent with someone who’s an animal out here looking for blood,” Hayes’ attorney John Fuller told WDSU. “His actions are totally consistent with someone that is complying with a police investigation.”

Smith’s wife, who was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, was also wounded. Though, it doesn’t appear that she was targeted.

Meanwhile, coach Payton was strident in his opposition to not only firearms, but .45 caliber handguns.

“It was a large caliber gun. A .45,” said Payton. “It was designed back during World War I. And this thing just stops people. It will kill someone within four or five seconds after they are struck. You bleed out. After the first shot, he took three more in his back. … We could go online and get 10 of them and have them shipped to our house tomorrow.”

“I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms,” continued Payton.

There are two sides to every story. The question the justice system must answer now is whether Hayes’ use of deadly force was reasonable given the circumstances. As we’ve seen in the past with other high-profile shootings, it takes a bit of time before all of the facts of the case come to light. Even then, there still may be some ambiguity as to what exactly transpired — so one should avoid making snap judgments. By the looks of things, Mr. Hayes’ fate will ultimately be decided by a jury of his peers.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 59 comments… add one }
  • Bud February 27, 2017, 7:39 pm

    It’s ass holes like this coach who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground about buying a gun, but have a public platform and use bit to spread bullshit. What country does coach ass wipe live in that he can get 10 45’s sent to his house in the mail. I strongly challenge anyone to try to order 10 45 pistols through the mail. When you get laughed at by the vendor contact coach jerk off and please explain it to him.

    • Gunflint January 19, 2018, 7:53 am


  • Wayne April 17, 2016, 4:22 pm

    Are we all clear on this? Is he not the coach that was suspended for a year for “hit man” antics? Paying his players to injure opponents! That is so consistent, we’re was that in the interview?

  • Bob April 17, 2016, 8:54 am

    “I hate guns,” he told USA Today Sports in a phone interview. “I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can’t wrap my brain around it.”

    It always amazes me how people of some notoriety (in this case very little notoriety) feel the need to speak out when they have no clue of what they are talking about. Yes this loser coach who was suspended by the NFL for encouraging and overseeing the paying bounties to players for overly violent hits especially those resulting in injury has the gall to comment on this situation not knowing all the facts.

    He sounds like a liberal democrat blaming the gun for the death as opposed to the shooter because we all know guns often shoot themselves. Has no clue that guns cannot be shipped to your home by placing an order on the internet. Just a total douche bag. Isn’t it better to sit in silence on a topic you know nothing about than to open your mouth and remove all doubt as to how ignorant you actually are???

  • RossWutherspoon April 17, 2016, 12:24 am

    As long as his players are winning, Payton is totally OK with them doing things to their bodies that result in them suffering a multitude of ailments in their later lives. Parkinson’s Disease among them.

    But kill one of his players with a GUN? OMG that is totally WRONG! Ban them all!

  • George April 16, 2016, 10:33 pm

    If this coach hates guns and Americans maybe he should move to England and teach the other football

  • Gordon April 16, 2016, 4:14 pm

    This idiot is ok with putting bounties on people…..but doesn’t want you and I to have the ability to defend ourselves. Moron

  • Mike April 16, 2016, 12:10 am

    You know I could really give a flying flip about what this coach hates. If you don’t like them don’t buy one or own one. While you are at it get rid of your armed guard you have at your games and get rid of your armed security. Otherwise you are nothing but a pair of flopping lips and sound like the teacher on the Charlie Brown shows. Wah a wah wah wah

  • Walter Jackson April 15, 2016, 11:41 pm

    Anyone remember the coach in the NFL , who rewarded/paid a cash bounty to his players for inflicting excessive force to the extent that the opposing player would be injured and forced to sit out the remainder of the game. And is some instances the injury required the injured player to miss several games.

    • Keith April 16, 2016, 6:36 pm

      Or leave the NFL completely and do razor commercials to make ends meet…

  • JIm April 15, 2016, 11:16 pm

    What an azzhole! Moron!

  • Glenn61 April 15, 2016, 9:47 pm

    Perhaps Saints coach Sean Payton would feel better if player Will Smith was stabbed to death with a large knife or run through with a sword or hacked apart with a machete or an ax available at ant hardware store.. If you take away peoples guns they will resort to blades, or tools like hammers and screw drivers or utensils like ice picks to kill. Or the next road rage incident may just end with Will being run over by some maniac’s car.

    At least the good people can still defend themselves with a gun.

  • Alan April 15, 2016, 9:08 pm

    So, isn’t the Louisiana State motto, “Sportsman’s paradise” ? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jimonthebeach April 15, 2016, 6:05 pm

    Instead of hating an inanimate object, maybe the coach should hate the people who misuse guns. I doubt that he hates automobiles, but they kill far more people than guns.

  • Arclight April 15, 2016, 5:42 pm

    Help me understand the rational behind blaming an inanimate object for human tragedy…I guess money does that to some folks…

  • ppb April 15, 2016, 4:55 pm

    Just another over paid MORON with a freaking small brain. The NFL should be shut down as a destructive human sport.

  • Sean April 15, 2016, 4:37 pm

    Typical leftist who imagines he possesses the stuff it takes to defend his family and country because he’s a big player in the world of professional football, when in fact, he’s simply afraid to try to exercise the kind of behavior that is required of a man in any age: Bearing arms to ensure his family’s well-being and making sure he is prepared to make the moves that might be necessary to protect the freedoms of his community and country at large. He’s made it clear that he must bow down at the altar of socialists like Hillary and Obama. He should join ranks with the faggots that have outed themselves in the sports world in recent years.

  • dave ope April 15, 2016, 4:28 pm

    Sean is a poop head

  • Glennon April 15, 2016, 2:18 pm

    I quit watching the nfl ten years ago when all of the “thugs” started taking over the league. Payton, perhaps if there were more stand up citizens in your league and others then a lot of this crap would not happen. Here we have another privilege class within our society who think they are immune from the laws laid down that the rest of us must abide and live with daily. Did this guy have a permit to drive around the city with a loaded gun in his vehicle. I will not be watching any more college football because the thugs have take over it, too and think they can get away with all kinds of felonies just because they can play a sport.

  • Magnus April 15, 2016, 2:15 pm

    I hate damn football!

  • TheRon April 15, 2016, 12:41 pm

    If Will Smith had been killed with vehicular homocide by a DUI driver, Sean Payton would have said NOTHING about hating alcohol. It’s a huge ad money source for the NFL. And the NFL is bigottedly anti-gun having rejected an ad by Daniel Defense which depicted a war vet wanting to be able to defend his family. So Sean is toeing the company line.

  • max hoyle April 15, 2016, 12:39 pm

    Sounds like he wears panties too! Some big ex football criminal gets out of his care and confronts another driver in his car, and the other driver is supposed to fight a 330 pounder? Thats kinda unsportsmanlike ain’t it?

  • JoshO April 15, 2016, 12:36 pm

    Wait, I can get 1911s shipped directly to my house now? And the magical .45 bullet kills in seconds? Oh, no, wait — he’s just another misinformed idiot flapping his gums about a topic he knows nothing about.

    Here’s a question: why does anyone care what a football coach has to say about anything other than football?

  • Paladin April 15, 2016, 12:29 pm

    F this traitorous azzwipe the the Lib NFL. Lets see what he does when one of of his feral baboons of NO comes to rape his daughter and wife.., he can defend them with a rolling pin. What a douche bag he is.

  • Rouge1 April 15, 2016, 12:12 pm

    Done with the tax exempt non profit called the nfl. They just spew liberal government propaganda to the bread and circus crowd.

  • Big George April 15, 2016, 11:55 am

    Geeeee, so Coach Payton “hates guns” and “can’t wrap his brain around it”!? This from an NFL hypocrite who has his players beat their brains out on one another players just so he can get his bonus for a winning season??!!! It wasn’t the gun that killed Smith, it was the moronic thug who pulled the trigger…just like it isn’t the football helmet which caused Junior Seau to develop Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), but the moronic football coaches who told him to ‘go in there and kill those guys’!!

    • Vincent Brennan April 16, 2016, 12:51 am

      Turns out the shooter may have very well been protecting himself from an enraged 330 pound thug. He did call the police. He did wait for them to arrive. There were witnesses who he asked to stay at the scene. Sounds to me like he was a scared guy defending himself and possibly others not a moron with a gun!

  • nagant April 15, 2016, 11:13 am

    So he hates guns, shooting is also a sports too and the difference is that 47 percent of football players have to take a pain injection to even get to play and most are addicted to something but if a person is hunting or shooting for sport then it’s against the law to do this while on certain medications or alcohol (so it’s far more likely for a football player to get hurt even more because they are not feeling the pain when they do get hurt again while playing but I do not hate the players but the game, I wouldn’t really call it a sport). I believe they all should be drug tested and should not play until they are off of the things they are on before each game. I would trust someone that is legal to own a firearm than a football player.

  • Russ April 15, 2016, 10:36 am

    What a typical uninformed arrogant idiot he is. I know he is grieving for his former player but to make such a stupid statement just shows how uninformed he is. I would think your 1 year suspension from the NFL would have given you time to think before you opened your mouth and let stupidity flow out of it. As far as England is concerned there is no comparison. Of course we dont have muslims stopping innocent people in the street in broad daylight and chopping their head off, displaying it, and then speaking to people and the press about it. They had no fear they would be stopped. I dont believe that would happen as easily in America you idiot. Wake up America there are lots of these idiots out there.

  • MB April 15, 2016, 10:17 am

    Those that can, do, those that can’t teach. This guy gets paid millions to “teach” someone to run with a ball.. Give me a break. People like him with big mouths and little brains are one of the reasons I gave up of most “sports” especially the NFL. This guys need to be educated as to the real world, not the fantasy he lives in.

    • DIYinSTL April 18, 2016, 11:23 am

      And those that can’t teach, go on welfare. Those to stupid or lazy to apply for welfare run for public office.

  • Ram6 April 15, 2016, 10:03 am

    “We could go online and get 10 of them and have them shipped to our house tomorrow.”

    Uh Coach, I don’t think you can do that legally. Now if you want to talk about the illegal ownership of firearms that’s a different story but it doesn’t fit the narrative of this particular incident. The fact is you can’t have a firearm shipped legally to your house. If you purchase it on line it must be delivered to a federally licensed dealer where you can pick it up after a background check. So it might be worthwhile to get your facts straight and stop with the “everybody wants to kill everybody” crappy rhetoric.

  • Michael April 15, 2016, 9:39 am

    I’m sure this coach is upset about his model citizens displaying their ghetto morality, so open mouth, insert football, show people just how uninformed and ignorant of the facts you really are. I guess he must be a good football coach (I quit watching and supporting professional football once I became an adult) – but as informed American he is a loser. Unless he has a Federal Firearms License, he can’t purchase ten 1911s and have them delivered to his home (or he has ties to the BATFE and gets them to deliver them all “Fast and Furious”!).

  • will April 15, 2016, 8:49 am

    But it’s ok to put a bounty out on opposing offensive players to intentionally hurt them, possibly ending their careers….

  • John April 15, 2016, 8:44 am

    After the Black Thug Lives Matter Super Bowl half-time performance, I started boycotting this new politically-correct NFL. The comments from this lame-brain coach only push me further away.

  • joe palooka April 15, 2016, 8:16 am

    I hate football too, and idiots that get up there and make statements like that. I agree, why are you even posting what this pussy has to say? who really cares about this idiot? he just wants his 15 seconds of shame!

  • Jay April 15, 2016, 8:13 am

    In case no one has noticed! The USA is in a arms race, not with any other country or identity but with the American citizen. Many branches of government have been procuring weapons and ammunition to stockpile since 2008. Many agencies that have no business to even have them. This was done to try and keep it under wraps from the public. Now just sit back and wonder why they need all of this that we are paying for with our tax dollars!

    • Shawn April 15, 2016, 9:27 am

      Totally agree!

  • Joey Sherman April 15, 2016, 8:10 am

    What a damn idiot!

  • Brandon K Fitzhugh April 15, 2016, 8:10 am

    This is coming from a guy who made money off the bounties his players made on hurting opposing team members. Maybe he should of been a better coach and taught his team about the legal use of firearms.

  • Jack Dosnice April 15, 2016, 8:09 am

    Advice to coach -hate the person who killed using a gun – not the gun. The last time I check no gun ever got up and killed anyone.

  • Rod Smalt April 15, 2016, 7:47 am

    Wow! I can go online and have 10 .45 ACPs delivered to my house? Who knew?
    Payton is a moron.

  • Edgardo April 15, 2016, 7:47 am

    as Bugs Bunny would say….”What a maroon!”

  • Steve April 15, 2016, 7:17 am

    I hate Football!

  • Gregg April 15, 2016, 7:04 am

    Phil Robertson needs to take Sean to the woodshed.

  • Bob Carter April 15, 2016, 6:49 am

    Can somebody explain to me what makes this pussy even news worthy… I mean he’s a coach… Not even someone half ass worthy like maybe a player… You’ve heard those who can do, and those who can’t teach… That would explain his fear or bang bangs… But to consider him news worthy… I don’t see it…

  • RetNavet April 15, 2016, 6:26 am

    I quit watching NFL when the pansies started wearing pink every October as if that would do a damn thing to prevent/cure breast cancer….now this ignoramus opening his pie-hole to curry favor with libtards….eff him and eff the NFL

  • Pseudomind April 15, 2016, 5:30 am

    Open mouth, demonstrate one’s total ignorance, “We could go online and get 10 of them and have them shipped to our house tomorrow.”

    We have seen the enemy and it is US, OURSELVES!

    • wake_Up_America April 15, 2016, 6:56 am

      The problem is PEOPLE and the complete moral decay of society and violent blacks in this country NOT guns.

      • dave ope April 15, 2016, 4:37 pm

        And mehecans

    • Alan April 15, 2016, 9:06 pm

      “ourselves” ?!?! So, are we to interpret that YOU have bought into that socialist crap?
      Whereas the U.S. IS a ‘melting pot’ of diverse people, it is the INDIVIDUAL that is celebrated in the Constitution.
      Yes, we ARE ‘One Nation’, but the Constitution applies to INDIVIDUALS, NOT a society.
      And the Constitution applies to ‘LIKE’ minded individuals, NOT to the socialist minded ‘as one’ people.
      The enemy is NOT “US”, it is the socialist demagogues among us.
      Jefferson saw this, as did Franklin.
      This is why Jefferson foresaw future revolutions, and Franklin foresaw those that would surrender essential freedoms AND vote themselves others money.
      There was NEVER a ‘US’, only like minded freedom loving people living among those that would take and use to the detriment of others.
      Like it or not, often the majority are lazy and predisposed to taking when they can. It is up to the few that actually know and love freedom to drag their miserable foolish butts into a better life.
      In short, it’s a bitter uphill battle against the forces of tyranny using the willfully ignorant and stupid to enforce absolute despotism against those that would simply wish to live as Nature and Natures God has intended.
      How else can one explain allegedly ‘educated’ people espousing such drivel?

  • WilliamDahl April 15, 2016, 5:30 am

    Hunting and fishing is a part of Louisiana life — that’s why it is called “The Sportsman’s Paradise”. Louisiana like football, but if the residents have any balls, they will refuse to go to the Saints games until this idiot is fired. Statements like his are an affront to ever decent Louisiana sportsman.

  • Just1Spark April 15, 2016, 4:46 am

    lol, oh the memes that are going to haunt Sean Payton now! Poor idiot.

    Anyways, watch this trial very closely. Even if the shooter was justified, even if it was self defense, there are still sneaky ways antigun judges put people away. WATCH CLOSELY!

  • John Evans April 15, 2016, 4:15 am

    Either Sean Payton is clueless or he has an Federal Firearms License.
    He can have them shipped to his house?
    Pretty impreesive!
    Except for that fact that this is not true and he is lying.
    Hopefully this is just an emotional response to the situation.
    In which case he should just shut up.

  • Luap April 15, 2016, 4:12 am

    He says:

    …We could go online and get 10 of them and have them shipped to our house tomorrow.”

    What an idiot! He needs a pocket constitution and an education on the firearm regulations from this era.

  • Aaron April 13, 2016, 10:12 am

    Supporting the NFL means supporting fascism.

    The public funds stadiums but a private organization collects all the profit.

    Why care what a fascist has to say?

    • Shawn April 15, 2016, 9:29 am

      And they are tax exempt. Go figure.

  • John T Roberts April 12, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Guns kill, like baseball bats hit home runs by themselves. If you make a bat illegal, some will use them anyway and guns are no different. Making something illegal doesn’t keep them out of the hands of those that want them, it just makes the sport and security impossible. People are killed with bats, should me do away with baseball?

    • KSG April 15, 2016, 11:04 am

      Do away with baseball, basketball & football, wouldn’t hurt my feelings none. Over paid, disrespectful nobody’s who think they are special because the majority of their life they have had special treatment for being good at those hasbeen sports. The real heros are the people who work everyday at some f_-_ up job to support their familys , pay taxes & mortgage to make banks and government rich.

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