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Outsiders vs. Insiders: NFL’s AMVETS ad snub proves management learned nothing this season

As if our country wasn’t distracted enough by the recent political hubbub over the fate of illegal aliens and the government shutdown, now patriotic Americans are being subjected to what could be a final round of insults from the flag-protest tolerating National Football League (NFL) over what its management deems as controversial political advertising for the upcoming Super Bowl.

NFL Please StandUnder the “you can’t make this stuff up” category comes this gem:

Sasha Savitsky of Fox News reported, “National veterans group American Veterans (AMVETS) said the NFL rejected its full-page Super Bowl ad over the words ‘Please Stand.’…

“The NFL told Fox News they objected to the words ‘Please Stand’ due to its political nature. The decision comes amid the controversy surrounding NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, sparked by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season.

“’The Super Bowl game 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,’ NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Fox News.”

Savitsky additionally reported the proposed ad featured a color guard holding the American flag with a call to donate to AMVETS. Sounds ultra-political, don’t it?

An email from the American Family Association (AFA) indicated the AMVETS didn’t take the NFL’s rejection sitting down, so to speak. “It's a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing,” National Commander Marion Polk wrote in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“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,” Polk added in the letter. “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.”

Absolutely correct; since we seem to have long ago run out of superlatives for “stupid” to portray the NFL it was hard to come up with another means to describe the league’s latest – and hopefully last for this season -- inane action. It’s almost as if the professional football brain trust didn’t engender enough fan animosity during the fall for its complete botching of the flag protest dispute, now they’re allowing it to be dredged up again during the lead-up to the Super Bowl?

President Trump apparently hasn’t caught wind of this latest NFL leadership fumble because one would speculate he’d be all over it if he had – and with good reason. If the politically correct minds behind a pro sport can’t see their way to accept a paid advertisement from a veterans group, what would they expect the reaction to be once word got out? Are Goodell and company still so afraid of offending the players – or are they worried having such an ad in the Super Bowl program would spark a new groundswell of knee-taking in front of the whole world?

What about the feelings of all the troops that will be gathered in front of satellite broadcasts of the game halfway around the world? Does Roger Goodell have a sign of brain function anymore?

Everyone knows the NFL has recently taken an awful public relations hit from the ongoing fury over concussions in the sport with brain injuries practically making the front page whenever one is discovered in a deceased player’s autopsy. Perhaps Goodell himself should be taken to the sidelines and put under one of those oversized privacy tents and administered a concussion protocol test.

As a lifelong football fan this season has been one non-stop downer for me. I imagine I’m not alone but I just can’t look at the game the same way anymore. Having seen the pregame lead-ups to both of last weekend’s playoff games it almost appeared as though the NFL – and the TV networks – had received the message about honoring the flag. Both games featured a healthy dose of patriotism, likely designed to take some of the edge off the small group of disgruntled players’ kneeling months earlier.

The pregame ceremonies were a tad over-the-top but the NFL has a lot to make up for.

After all this time it seemed like the protests had become the dirty little secret no one wanted to talk about anymore and the subject was buried comfortably beneath New England quarterback Tom Brady’s reportedly injured throwing hand and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ postgame beefs about the one-sided nature of the officiating (which was correct in my opinion!).

Now NFL critics once again have plenty to discuss, including the league’s sagging TV ratings and attendance from this past season. No doubt there’s going to be a great deal of hand-wringing at league offices in the coming months over how to repair the immense public relations damage that’s already been done – and having wounded vets complaining about being blackballed by the NFL during the Super Bowl isn’t going to help matters.

It’s not like the NFL has barred all politically charged advertising in the past – at least from the left side of the spectrum. Last year’s game, for example, featured a Budweiser ad and its thinly veiled attempt to shame the conservative Trump-led “extreme vetting” and immigration enforcement crowd. And it goes without saying the league found no quarrel with socially charged advertising from Coca Cola (and others) promoting same-sex marriage, the LGBTQ agenda and other offensive elements of multiculturalism.

Who knows, maybe this year we’ll see Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner touting his/her favorite brand of cosmetics to appeal to the Super Bowl’s liberal female audience members.

In other words it’s okay to offend Christians and military vets by denying their free speech (through advertising) but when there’s a leftist social cause involved you can’t go there. What if a conservative pro-life group was willing to pay $5 million for a TV ad this year? Is it okay for GoDaddy.com to run ads featuring big breasted scantily clad women (sexual exploitation, anyone?) testifying before a mock congressional committee but not good for Christians to express their faith?

The NFL is right about one thing – Americans are heartily sick of politics being injected into sports but it shouldn’t be overlooked that it was the football athletes themselves who did it,  starting with former San Francisco 49ers benchwarmer quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting for the national anthem throughout the 2016 season. Kaepernick’s turned into a sort of cause célèbre for the left ever since – a famous person willing to criticize the police and American institutions and traditions in front of the whole world!

Meanwhile league owners stumbled over themselves in a rush to blame Trump for generating the controversy when really all the president did was articulate in public what was in the hearts of patriotic Americans from coast-to-coast who took insult at Kaepernick’s (and a handful of other players’) offensive gestures.

Kaepernick has been all-but blackballed by the league’s team personnel managers ever since yet it hasn’t sidetracked him from his quest to destroy traditional American culture. Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times reported, “The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback announced Thursday that his foundation would give $10,000 to the Advancement Project as part of his commitment to donate $1 million to organizations ‘working in oppressed communities.’

“Advancement Project has another prominent funder: Mr. [George] Soros, whose major philanthropies have given more than $9.5 million to the group since 1999, according to the conservative Capital Research Center.

“With offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Advancement Project describes itself as a ‘multi-racial civil rights organization,’ but the group is best known for promoting ‘voting rights’ by opposing initiatives such as photo ID requirements, voter-fraud investigations, and removing inactive voters from the rolls.”

What a magnificent use for the gobs of money Kaepernick “earned” during his years in the NFL! Military members serving the United States make pennies on Kaepernick’s dollar yet they can’t even get the NFL to accept a veterans group’s ad that could be interpreted as being critical of Kaepernick’s faux cause.

A cursory look at the organizations Kaepernick’s donated to reveals his own brand of political activism – it’s a who’s who list of leftist social institutions. “Since launching his $1 million pledge in October 2016, Mr. Kaepernick has made grants to dozens of groups ranging from politically neutral charities such as Meals on Wheels to left-wing advocacy groups like 350.org and Assata’s Daughters, named after convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur,” Richardson reported.

In doing so Kaepernick proved he’s just Obama and Eric Holder with a bigger afro and no suit and tie – and a little less articulate. The mindset is the same, however. Whenever there’s something these types don’t like they encourage “community activism” which can be summarized as paying other brainless idiots to gather and spout their message.

Particularly offensive are their non-stop misinformation campaigns against America’s police forces. Law enforcement received a sizeable support boost under President Trump. The work is already paying off, too. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in an op-ed at the USA Today, “In the first six months of last year, the increase in the murder rate slowed and violent crime actually went down. Publicly available data for the rest of the year suggest further progress. For the first time in the past few years, the American people can have hope for a safer future.

“Our strategy at this department of concentrating on the most violent criminals, taking down violent gang networks, prioritizing gun prosecutions, and supporting our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners has proven to work.

“Of course, our work is not done. Crime is still far too high — especially in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.”

People like Kaepernick target the police for rare instances of abuse yet fail to do anything consequential about high crime in the neighborhoods they purport to represent. Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions proudly respects the men in blue who go into the neighborhoods and risk their lives on a daily basis to protect the innocent.

If Crooked Hillary Clinton had been elected the problem would still be as bad as it was under Obama. At least with Sessions – and Trump -- in charge there’s hope for a better tomorrow for urban residents.

The NFL would be doing America’s inner cities a favor by honoring the flag and those who serve it instead of denying basic free speech rights under the guise of political correctness. The days come and go but apparently Roger Goodell and company learned nothing from this season.

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