WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – A veterans group says the NFL rejected its Super Bowl advertisement, asking people to “please stand” for the National Anthem.
AMVETS said the NFL actually approached them to run an ad in the program, but after seeing the final product, it deemed the ad as inappropriate, saying the message that it was sending was too political.
Marion Polk, with American Veterans, said his message is simply that he wants American people to please stand.
“They did not think that was an appropriate ad for the program, and so they actually requested us to change that to another phrase, and we decided that we weren’t going to do that, that we were going to keep it as it was as ‘please stand,'” Polk said.
Polk said the ad is in response to NFL players protesting racial inequality and injustice by kneeling during the performance of the National Anthem before the start of games.
He said his group’s First Amendment rights have been violated.
“Our First Amendment rights were violated by them not running our ad the way we wanted it,” Polk said.
NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement that the Super Bowl program has “never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.” He went on to say that the NFL has “long supported the military and veterans.”
Percy Elhosseine plans on watching the Super Bowl. He said both sides — the players kneeling in protest and AMVETS askng them not to — have the right to express their own opinion.
“If we are allowed to express our thoughts and our feelings about issues, based on the First Amendment, then this falls right in line,” he said.
The NFL said it offered to change the wording of the ad to “Please stand for our veterans,” but after AMVETS rejected the proposals, it went ahead and printed the programs.