In a move that will only anger conservatives and veterans, the NFL has rejected a Super Bowl advertisement from American Veterans asking everyone to stand for the national anthem.
The league has suffered poor ratings even during the 2018 playoffs.
The nation’s largest veterans service organization had been invited by the NFL to run a print ad for the Super Bowl programs this season, but it was rejected out of hand once commissioner Roger Goodell was made aware of its contents.
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“It’s a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing,” wrote National Commander Marion Polk in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
American Veterans accused the NFL of outright censorship by rejecting the advertisement.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy defended the league’s decision to ban the American Veterans’ advertisement noting that the game day 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,” McCarthy told Army Times.
The NFL has been rocked by national anthem protests throughout the season — leading to a massive decline in television viewership and game day attendance. Still, the NFL and most team owners refused to order players to stand for the national anthem.