NFL's Reason For Rejecting Veteran's 'Please Stand' Superbowl Ad Will Make Your Blood Boil


The NFL rejected an ad submitted by a veterans organization because it “could be considered by some as a political statement.”

American Veterans sent in a one-page ad for the NFL’s Super Bowl program with the message “Please Stand,” according to USA Today.

“The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. “It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”

He added, “The NFL has long supported the military and veterans and will again salute our service members in the Super Bowl with memorable on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game.”

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In response, Joe Chenelly, executive director of AMVETS said that the players kneeling during the national anthem are exercising their free speech and the organization wanted to do the same.

“The protests are very much out of our purview,” Chenelly said. “We were not looking to comment on those. This is part of our Americanism program.”

USA Today reported, the organization’s Americanism program conducts seminars for schools and youth groups “on the proper way to display, care for and respect the flag.”

The NHL and NBA had accepted similar ads for their all-star game programs, according to AMVETS.

Should the NFL have accepted the ad?

The organization’s national commander, Marion Polk, wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“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,” he said, according to USA Today. “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.”

McCarthy expanded on the ad rejection.

“We looked to work with the organization and asked it to consider other options such as ‘Please Honor our Veterans,'” he said. “They chose not to and we asked it to consider using ‘Please Stand for Our Veterans.’ Production was delayed as we awaited an answer.”

According to McCarthy, the organization asked for a hashtag “#PleaseStand” to be included in their ad, but was informed that approval would not given in time and the AMVETS failed to reply.

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The NFL has been engulfed in controversy since more and more players have followed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead and knelt during the national anthem.

The result of these on-field protests has been a public relations nightmare for the league involving a decline in ratings, attendance and ticket resale prices.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith