Nets Ignore NFL Quashing ‘Please Stand' Super Bowl Ad by Veterans Group

With the protest-filled 2017 NFL season set to come to an end in a couple of weeks, the league found itself engulfed in controversy Tuesday when they banned an ad from a veterans group asking people to “please stand” for the national anthem. It was a truly sad story, but the none of the major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) felt the need to report it to their viewers during their evening broadcasts.

While the liberal networks were drooling over the recently announced Oscar nominations, Fox News Channel’s Special Report gave the veterans group some attention. “New England and Philadelphia will play on the field, but there is another battle taking place involving the NFL, veterans, and the national anthem,” announced anchor Bret Baier as he introduced the segment.

“The NFL has rejected a $30,000 print ad from a veterans group for the games program that addressed the issue with these two words: Please stand,” reported Fox News’ media analyst Howard Kurtz. “AMVETS, founded by World War II veterans, had already modified the wording of the request of the company handling the program, but the league has final say. And AMVETS now accuses the NFL of corporate censorship.”

AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk laid it all out for Fox News. “The NFL, bottom line, just denied us our opportunity for free speech,” he explained. “We didn't place this ad, please stand, for any political reason whatsoever. It was our way of just getting the American public to stand in their beliefs.”

 

 

As reported by Kurtz, despite the AMVETS’ non-political intentions, the NFL asserted that the program had “never been a place for advertising they could be considered by some as a political statement.” But it was clear that the NFL was shutting down those they saw as opposing the players: “The NFL naturally wants the day’s focus on the Patriots and Eagles, not political ads. But since any on-field protest will draw huge media coverage, the league does seem to be blocking the other side's message.”

Kurtz also noted how rough the year had been for the NFL because of their position to back their protesting players. “It's been a tough season for the NFL with sinking ratings and constant controversy over protesting players who kneel during the national anthem,” he recalled. “And that controversy is now casting a shadow on the league's premier showcase: the Super Bowl.”

It’s no wonder the liberal networks didn’t care about what happened to the veterans because they enthusiastically took the side of the protesting players. When President Trump first went to battle with the NFL, ABC and NBC claimed Trump was using racially coded rhetoric. And as Puerto Rico was just beginning their insanely long road to recovery after Hurricane Maria, they elevated the spat with 3.6 times more airtime than the crisis (92 minutes to 25 minutes).

As with most political subjects, the networks picked their side and supported it over everything else, including veterans.

Transcript below:

Fox News Channel's Special Report
January 23, 2018
6:38 PM Eastern

BRET BAIER: Welcome back to the White House. You may have heard the Super Bowl is coming a week from Sunday, Super Bowl LII [52]. New England and Philadelphia will play on the field, but there is another battle taking place involving the NFL, veterans, and the national anthem. Fox News media analyst and host of Fox’s Media Buzz Howard Kurtz fills us in.

[Cuts to video]

HOWARD KURTZ: It's been a tough season for the NFL with sinking ratings and constant controversy over protesting players who kneel during the national anthem. And that controversy is now casting a shadow on the league's premier showcase: the Super Bowl. The NFL has rejected a $30,000 print ad from a veterans group for the games program that addressed the issue with these two words: Please stand. AMVETS, founded by World War II veterans, had already modified the wording of the request of the company handling the program, but the league has final say. And AMVETS now accuses the NFL of corporate censorship.

MARION POLK: The NFL, bottom line, just denied us our opportunity for free speech.

KURTZ: An NFL spokesman said the big game has “never been a place for advertising they could be considered by some as a political statement.” He said the super bowl will salute vets of the military on the field, at the NFL had asked AMVETS to consider alternative wording, “Please honor our veterans,” the group didn't respond in time.

POLK: We didn't place this ad, please stand, for any political reason whatsoever. It was our way of just getting the American public to stand in their beliefs.

KURTZ: President Trump kicked off a season of controversy by tweeting about the kneeling players and personally denouncing them.

DONALD TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a [bleeped] off the field right now?

[Cuts back to live]

KURTZ: The NFL naturally wants the day’s focus on the Patriots and Eagles, not political ads. But since any on-field protest will draw huge media coverage, the league does seem to be blocking the other side's message.


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