The embattled NFL is showing a dubious double standard over free speech, says a pro-family organization.
The NFL has told the nation's largest veterans service organization, American Vets or AMVETS, that its patriotic ad encouraing people to stand for the American flag and national anthem won't be allowed.
AMVETS was actually asked by the NFL to place an ad in the Super Bowl LII program, but when the submitted ad - at a non-profit cost of $30,000 - included a two-word message, "#PleaseStand," the NFL refused to include it.
Despite a letter from AMVETS pleading its case, the NFL responded that it opposes advertising "that could be considered by some as a political statement."
Rob Chambers, a spokesman for the American Family Association, points out that the NFL has vocally supported players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
"They are free to exercise their speech by not demonstrating honor to our country," says Chambers, "but they deny the ability of the veterans who basically paid for liberty in the United States of America, many of them by their own blood and their own life."
The issue troubled AFA enough to trigger a Jan. 23 "Action Alert" to its supporters, urging them to contact the NFL and to sign a petition to Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner.
The petition had climbed to 78,000 signatures when The Washington Examiner reported on the effort in a Jan. 29 story. It had climbed to more than 102,000 signatures by Jan. 31.
The Action Alert quotes the AMVETS national commander, Marion Polk, who wrote to Goodell that many of the vets represented by the organization are missing limbs and can't stand for the national anthem.
American Family Association is the parent organization of American Family News and news website OneNewsNow.