AMVETS OfficialsÂ are now claiming that the NFL has censored an AD they wished to air during the Super Bowl.
AMVETS officials are decrying â€œcorporate censorshipâ€ from the National Football League for their decision not to run an ad in their Super Bowl program which responds to league playersâ€™ decision to kneel for the national anthem in protest of national equality issues.
The ad, which would have cost the veterans organization $30,000, features the tag â€œ#PleaseStandâ€ with a picture of service members saluting the American flag and information on how to donate to the congressionally-chartered organization.
Group leaders said NFL officials refused to include the ad in their Super Bowl publication, but did not issue a reason why. In a statement, AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk said the issue is one of fairness and respect.
â€” Marion Polk (@AMVETSNatlCmdr) January 22, 2018
Â â€œFreedom of speech works both ways,â€ he said. â€œWe respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought â€” and in many cases died â€” for.
â€œBut 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.â€
The NFL responded.
In a statement, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the Super Bowl game program â€œis designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl. Itâ€™s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.â€
They noted that the program will include a similar ad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars that states simply â€œWe Stand for Veterans.â€ McCarthy said AMVETS was asked to consider changing their ad to read â€œPlease Stand for Our Veteransâ€ but did not reply in time for production deadlines.
I wonder if the free speech police that defended the NFL player’s kneeling will come out to defend our veterans in this case. Yes, Veterans are tired of watching the flag and anthem they fought for disrespected and they have every right to express that. We must make sure the NFL realizes we don’t want a censored AD shown at the Super Bowl but that we want the originalÂ AD shown.