Our nation’s largest veterans service organization was contacted by the NFL to put up an ad during the big game this year.
Yet, when the time came for the AMVETS to submit the ad containing the hashtag “#PleaseStand,” the NFL rejected it. Disturbed by their actions, the AMVETS are now claiming that the NFL “censored” their television advertisement due to the criticism the widespread protests against the country has caused during the playing of the national anthem.
The television ad was projected to cost the group nearly $30,000, where it would feature veterans saluting the American flag and end with important information about donating to the charitable organization. Marion Polk, the AMVETS National Commander expressed how the NFL rebuffed the ad but did not give a logical reason for their decision.
The National Football League has rejected a proposed advertisement from the American Veterans group, also known as AMVETS, that asked those in attendance to “#PleaseStand” for the national anthem.
The ad, which was intended for the NFL’s official Super Bowl LII programs, was in response to football players protesting during the national anthem in order to raise awareness of racial injustice.
Stars and Stripes reports that AMVETS was “surprised and disappointed” after the NFL rejected its ad. “The NFL said it does not want to take a position on that. Really, by not letting us run an ad, we think they are taking a position,” said Joe Chennelly, the national director of AMVETS.
Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s vice president of communications, said in a statement that Super Bowl commercials are not the place for political messages:
The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl. It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement. The NFL has long supported the military and veterans and will again salute our servicemembers in the Super Bowl with memorable on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game.
McCarthy said the NFL offered AMVETS the opportunity to change its ad to either “Please Honor Our Veterans” or “Please Stand for Our Veterans.” He also pointed out that an ad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars that read “We Stand For Veterans” had been approved to run during the program.
AMVETS stand by its first ad and claims it was not contacted by the NFL in time to change it:
— Marion Polk (@AMVETSNatlCmdr) January 22, 2018