NFL rejects AMVETS 'please stand' Super Bowl ad

Vet organization and NFL taking sides

Kaylah Jackson
January 22, 2018 - 5:54 pm

(Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS/Sipa USA)

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The NFL has rejected an ad for their Super Bowl program from AMVETS that encouraged players and fans to “#PleaseStand” during the national anthem, according to the national veteran service organization.

AMVETS tells Connecting Vets that the league approached them about advertising in the Super Bowl program, but the NFL rejected the ad AMVETS proposed as “political.”

(Photo courtesy of AMVETS)

"As an organization we have not been critical of the NFL, we have not called for a boycott or anything like that," said Joe Chenelly, National Executive Director of AMVETS.  "The bottom line here is we want people to know our organization supports standing for the flag--for the national anthem."

AMVETS prides itself on "safeguarding the entitlements for American veterans," and while they aren't radically discrediting the league, they believe the NFL rejecting their ad is a way of taking sides.

The NFL said they offered AMVETS to change the #PleaseStand to “Please Honor Our Veterans” or “Please Stand for Our Veterans.”  AMVETS declined.

Earlier this year, AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk wrote in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying:

"It's a simple, polite request that represents the sentiments of our membership, particular those who are missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing...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.”

The kneeling issue has veterans on both sides of the issue.  As soon as the story broke, veterans took to their keyboards to express their distaste for the NFL:

But veterans also slammed AMVETS:

Last fall, quarterback Colin Kaepernick' kneeling protests erupted in controversy. And while players used the protests  to shed light on police brutality in the African American community, many veterans and the American public claimed the kneeling was disrespectful to our troops.

Although the NFL has rejected the ad, the NBA, NHL, and NASCAR accepted  AMVETS' #PleaseStand campaign for their respective programs.

As the football season progressed, attention on the kneeling protests seemed to die down. But with the rejection of this ad, and some of the over 100 million eyes tuning in the Super Bowl, many will be waiting to see how players will react.

The New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.