The NFL stands up to AMVET and takes a knee, calls it politics

A group of military planes flies overhead Hard Rock Stadium during the National Anthem - image by Brian Miller
A group of military planes flies overhead Hard Rock Stadium during the National Anthem - image by Brian Miller /

The NFL has always held a tight grip on what they allow to air during their prime show of the year. The Super Bowl. Every year commercials are denied a time slot based on a myriad of subject matter.

This year is no different but it could further complicate the NFL’s hold on their fan base. Regardless of how you as a fan feel about the kneeling in protest to the National Anthem you have to admit that it has had a negative impact on the league. Both in attendance and viewership.

The reason behind the kneeling is well-known and documented and at the heart of the silent demonstrations is not a defamation act against the flag or the National Anthem or the servicemen and women of the armed forces. It has been taken as such.

Now the NFL is making its non-political stance a political one and will once again offend a good portion of the country. The kneeling players say they only want the NFL to recognize what it is they are trying to say, the NFL so far has stayed away from that discussion. This new issue will have to be discussed and won’t likely be summarily dismissed by the men and women who serve this country.

AMVETS created a commercial for the Super Bowl where veterans are asking players to “Please Stand”. The NFL has told AMVETS that they will not allow the commercial to air during the Super Bowl. The NFL says it is because they do not want to allow political commercials to air during their big game.

That however is not entirely true. During last years Super Bowl the NFL allowed a series of “Dreamer” commercials to air. The series followed a woman and her child from deep within Mexico on a journey to illegally enter the United States. It concluded with a massive wall being built on the border but a gate that allowed them in.

Hello? NFL? If anything is political that is it. This is why many view the NFL has a group of hypocrites. Already watching viewership drop the NFL can’t seem to get out of their own way. Now they are the ones determining what is and what isn’t political? It makes no sense.

The AMVETS commercial reportedly doesn’t contain a lot of political stance but the NFL still has declined it. This is a very critical time period for the NFL. Fans are tuning out over horrible refereeing that has changed and dictated game outcomes. The continued success, questionable success of the Patriots are turning fans off, and the NFL still can’t tell you what a catch is.

All of this combined is making it harder for the league to keep fans let alone win over new ones. Add to this already simmering cauldron the health risks and the concussion and long-term CTE problems and the NFL is heading into darker days at a time when they should be continuing to dominate the professional sports arena.