NFL doubles down, gives astonishing statement that guarantees thousands of Americans will turn off Super Bowl

It’s Super Bowl weekend, or as some may see it “Brady Bowl” weekend. Yep, I’m from Atlanta, and still smarting from last year’s Super Bowl.

About two weeks ago I shared a story with y’all about an AMVETS commercial that was getting “stiff armed” by the NFL. The ad just stated two simple words: “please stand.”

Just as a reminder, from the Army Times report, “AMVETS officials are decrying “corporate censorship” from the National Football League for their decision not to run an ad in their Super Bowl program which responds to league players’ 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 “#PleaseStand” 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.  

“Freedom of speech works both ways,” he said. “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.”
 
In a statement, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said 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.”

They noted that the program will include a similar ad from the Veterans of Foreign Wars that states simply “We Stand for Veterans.” McCarthy said AMVETS was asked to consider changing their ad to read “Please Stand for Our Veterans” but did not reply in time for production deadlines.”

I just have to ask, when did the NFL decide to pick and choose which veterans service organization was suitable for their purposes? And why does the NFL believe they should tell any veterans group what is the appropriate message for them to share?

AMVETS was willing to pay the $30,000 price tag, and nothing they were stating is immoral or would cause any concerns about the viewing audience finding it offensive…or maybe that’s the crux of the issue? Has standing for the national anthem in America become a matter of offense for some?

And apparently what Mr. McCarthy doesn’t understand is that we in America do not “stand for our veterans, we stand united for our national symbol, our flag, and we pay honor and respect to our national anthem. It was written about the flag Soldiers ensured was waving, high, after the massive naval bombardment of Ft. McHenry in Baltimore harbor. Francis Scott Key didn’t write the Star-Spangled Soldiers, he wrote the Star-Spangled Banner in honor of the flag that stood, and we adopted that song as OUR national anthem.

McCarthy’s response is a pathetic excuse as he tried to avoid the real issue. And to say that the Super Bowl doesn’t do “political” advertisements? Dude, last year I watched all those Super Bowl commercials that was advocating for immigration — like there was no political undertone there?

But what has really caused my concern is the most recent response from the NFL regarding this unnecessary kerfluffle.

As reported at the Conservative Tribune, “In a swirl of controversy, the NFL recently announced that it would not accept an advertisement from the veterans group AMVETS for the Super Bowl’s printed program. The reason? Because the NFL has already done enough to honor veterans this year… Goodell has not only defended the AMVETS ad being rejected for the game’s program, he is now saying that the league has already done enough for vets.  

After being questioned about rejecting the vets’ ad, according to NBC’s ProFootballTalk, Goodell told reporters, “It’s not an indication of any lack of support. 

“We have a VFW ad that talks about, celebrates the important work that our veterans are doing, and of course you all know we’re going to have 15 Medal of Honor winners that we’re bringing together at the Super Bowl, which I think is the largest number of Medal of Honor winners ever brought together at any event other than their annual national gathering.”

“We have a VFW ad that talks about, celebrates the important work that our veterans are doing, and of course you all know we’re going to have 15 Medal of Honor winners that we’re bringing together at the Super Bowl, which I think is the largest number of Medal of Honor winners ever brought together at any event other than their annual national gathering.”

So, that’s it, the NFL and Roger Goodell has now defined what is patriotism and respect to our nation. Just have an NFL-approved commercial, march out some MOH recipients, and all is well.

Well, it’s not well with me, and actually the VFW should rescind their advertisement or else they’ll appear complicit. If the AMVETS ad isn’t good enough for the NFL, then the VFW advertisement isn’t either. And our MOH recipients should tell the NFL and Roger Goodell that they’re not the ones to be revered and held upon a grand pedestal — we should not be encouraging people to “stand” for them. We stand for America, and America is embodied in all of us — well, maybe not all — but it is symbolized by our American flag, for whom the national anthem was written.

Well, I am a veteran. I’m a member of a family of veterans. That is our legacy. My nephew is currently deployed. He didn’t deploy for veterans, and on his shoulder he doesn’t wear a veterans flag; he wears the American flag.

I’m not going to tell anyone what to do, and honestly, I did watch some Atlanta Falcons football games this season. But, I’ve made my decision, which I stated two weeks ago. I will not be watching the Super Bowl. Instead, I’ll watch the portrayal of the REAL New England Patriots, the “Sons of Liberty.” I’ll once again read the story of Ft. McHenry. I’ll reread the Declaration of Independence, written in Philadelphia by men who soared like eagles.

I will not support with my viewership an organization that’s seeking to redefine patriotism and what should be revered in America. My message to Roger Goodell is this: recognizing veterans, Medal of Honor recipients is worship of individuals. These individuals were willing to make the last full measure of devotion for a great nation. A great nation, its flag, its anthem for which we should all “please stand.”

[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]

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