The NFL invited AMVET, the largest veterans service organization in the United States, to place a full page ad in the Super Bowl LII program.
AMVET didn’t hesitate to respond with a simple two word request, “#PleaseStand,” which was immediately rejected by the NFL.
AMVET National Commander Marion Polk stands with an enlarged copy of the ad in a photo he shared on Twitter,
— Marion Polk (@AMVETSNatlCmdr) January 22, 2018
“It’s a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing,” Polk wrote in a letter to Roger Goodell after the ad had been rejected. “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,” Polk continued. “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.”
AMVET considers the rejection to be “outright censorship,” reports Fox News, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy stands behind the league’s decision.
“It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement,” he said in an interview with the Army Times.
Polk admonished the league for using Veterans as a PR tool. “Veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime, or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel; although, the NFL’s stance on not allowing the veterans’ unfiltered voice to be heard says otherwise.”
What do you think about the #PleaseStand campaign?