One of America's leading veterans service organizations is crying foul after the NFL rejected their ad for Super Bowl LII. According to Army Times, AMVETS put together an advertisement for the Super Bowl program that "responds to league players’ decision to kneel for the national anthem." The ad featured a veteran saluting the flag with #PleaseStand and information on how to donate to the organization.
AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk tweeted a photo of the rejected ad and said that ".@AMVETSHQ will NOT tolerate the @NFL refusing #Veteran right to free speech. We fought for it! #PleaseStand #SuperBowl"
Polk blasted the league in an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:
In closing, 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.
NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy issued a statement saying that 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.” He pointed out that the program will feature an ad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars that states simply “We Stand for Veterans.”