A veterans organization says it is being censored by the NFL after the league rejected its one-page ad, with the message "Please Stand," from the upcoming Super Bowl's program, saying it's too political.
"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 told USA Today Sports. "It's never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement." He added that 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."
The group, AMVETS, said it has placed similar ads in official NHL and NBA programs, and its executive director, Joe Chenelly, said he believes his group deserves the same platform as players who are protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. The protests are "very much out of our purview," Chenelly told USA Today Sports, and the ads are part of his group's attempts to teach people about the flag and how to care for it. McCarthy said AMVETS was asked to consider other taglines, including "Please Honor Our Vets" and "Please Stand for Our Veterans," but the organization never responded and the program had to go to the printer. Catherine Garcia