NEW YORK, NY — The National Football League found itself embroiled in a new controversy Tuesday after rejecting a veteran group’s ad request that their ad be run during the Super Bowl.
American Veterans, the nation’s largest veterans service organization, had requested that a photo ad with the hashtag #PleaseStand, be placed in the Super Bowl LII program. Representatives for the NFL, however, would have no part of it and refused the request, calling the ad “too political”.
“The Super Bowl program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams, and the Super Bowl. It has never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement,” NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said in the statement.
The ad request came after months of controversy sparked by the refusal of dozens of NFL players to stand for the National Anthem, protesting alleged “police brutality” toward minority groups.
Outraged by the NFL’s rejection, Fox News correspondent Rachel Compos- Duffy was quick to blast the organization over their lack of respect for the flag and toward America’s veterans.
“This is what the NFL has done: They’ve actually made standing for our flag, honoring our heroes and veterans, something political,” Campos-Duffy said on “America’s Newsroom.”
“I think this is the final straw for a lot of football fans,” Campos-Duffy said. “I think that the NFL’s going to pay a price for this.”
In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday, AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk wrote that “freedom of speech works both ways.”
“We respect the rights of those who choose to protest,” wrote Polk, but “imposing corporate censorship to deny those same rights to those veterans who have secured it for all is reprehensible.”
“Veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime,” Polk continued, “or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel.”
“In closing, freedom of speech works both ways,” Polk added. “We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought – and in many cases died – for.”