The NFL has rejected a submission by a veterans group for a one-page ad in the program for the upcoming Super Bowl that urges attendees to stand for the national anthem.
AMVETS has been serving returning veterans since 1944 and “is the most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization in the nation.” It’s also the largest organization of its kind in the U.S. The ad they wanted placed shows a soldier holding the flag and two simple words: #PleaseStand.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy sent an e-mail to USA Today explaining, “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.”
McCarthy indicated that the NFL supports veterans and will “salute our service members in the Super Bowl with memorable on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game.”
American Veterans National Commander Marion Polk wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing his displeasure in the rejection:
“It’s a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing.
“Freedom of speech works both ways. 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. But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale.
“Veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime, or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel; although, the NFL’s stance on not allowing the veterans’ unfiltered voice to be heard says otherwise.”
It’s sentiments like these from the top of the chain at the NFL that explain the ever-falling attendance numbers and viewership. According to a Breitbart report, the ratings were sacked during the early playoffs over the weekend. The matchup between the Vikings and Eagles saw a 2.9 percent drop over last year’s game. The Patriots versus the Jaguars was also down, only a little, but still managed to be “the lowest rated early game in the last five years.”
Kneeling through the anthem has been bad for business. Yet, it doesn’t seem to have bothered Goodell in the least.
Thankfully, the Minnesota Vikings, though losing a chance at this year’s Super Bowl, won the favor of veterans by installing an empty seat in its stadium in 2016 to memorialize soldiers who never returned home from the battlefield. At every home game, the seat is guarded by current military members. Here’s some footage:
To all the millionaire NFL brats who kneeled, that's how patriotism is done.