The National Football League cannot easily be said to be a haven of patriotism in the United States. After all, for the last two seasons, many members of the league have opted to kneel or stay seated during the national anthem, and the leadership at the National Football League have said that they are more than welcome to do so, and even applauded them or pandered to their demands. However, apparently, the NFL is even willing to go so far as to bar a patriotic organization, AMVETS, from being able to place an ad in their program for the upcoming Super Bowl.
AMVETS was prepared to pay the NFL $30,000 in order to run an ad saying “#PleaseStand.” There was nothing else to the advertisement; no political statement, no condemnation of overpaid man-children who get half a million dollars at least to play a game, just a simple message asking that people in the crowd stand for the flag that so many brave men and women fought and died under. The NFL’s response was that this was not allowed and that it was too ‘political’ for an ad to be placed in their program.
NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy released a statement saying that the Super Bowl program is not meant to be a place for people to advertise whatever they would like, but rather “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.”
McCarthy went on to say that the NFL had already approved an advertisement from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) that reads “We Stand for Veterans.” He further claimed that AMVETS was asked to change their ad to something else, like “Please Stand for Our Veterans,” but that they didn’t reply to this ‘request’ in time to meet the production deadlines for the programs. As a general rule, a request is not something that, if not granted, will result in being barred from entry or inclusion; that seems like something a Vice President of Communications should be aware of.
The NFL anthem protests began in 2016 when mediocre quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided he would rather sit through the national anthem, partially due to dissatisfaction with his team’s poor performance (which he was partially responsible for) and partially to pander to his social justice warrior girlfriend’s political opinions. It changed to ‘kneeling’ for the flag at the urging of a former U.S. Army Green Beret, but by the time Kaepernick started kneeling, fans of the NFL were already incensed by his actions.
Since then, it is suggested that the NFL has lost hundreds of thousands of viewers each week due to the protest. The ‘kneeling’ protest spread like wildfire throughout the spoiled NFL ranks, and athletes with no marketable skill besides the ability to push another person or catch a ball decided that they were somehow equipped to lecture taxpayers on politics.
The protests have offended citizens for a variety of reasons. To begin with, many taxpayers were offended that the professional athletes, playing in stadiums funded with taxpayer money (as nearly every NFL stadium is), didn’t have the decency to kneel for the flag that represented those taxpayers. Many citizens also chafed at being lectured by professional athletes who barely made it through college.
In the last few months, the protests have become less pronounced and obvious, due in large part to the NFL’s willingness to pander to players and their demands concerning activism. However, in doing so the NFL is being admittedly partisan, as the players’ demands are all in keeping with the usual social justice warrior and leftist objectives.
It’s not shocking that the NFL would pander to the left, or that it would relinquish its tax-exempt status (yes, for decades the NFL has been a tax-exempt organization that paid its top executives multi-million-dollar salaries) in order to do so. However, their willingness to throw the taxpayers, citizens, and the Armed Forces under the bus is purely partisan, and the NFL continues to let its leftist views show.
Apparently, saying ‘Please Stand’ is too much of a political statement for the NFL, but their players are free to use the sport for political posturing as much as they would like. It’s good to see where the NFL stands, and their hypocrisy is palpable.