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NFL To Honor Veterans During Super Bowl

woody

By Debbie Gregory.

Although the National Football League (NFL) has taken some heat for the #PleaseStand controversy, the league has announced plans to honor veterans during Super Bowl LII.

The brouhaha began when the NFL rejected an ad for the Super Bowl program from AMVETS  that featured the American flag, saluting soldiers and the words “Please Stand,” urging players and fans to stand during the national anthem. The ad was in direct opposition to the movement of NFL players protesting racial inequality and injustice by kneeling during the performance of the National Anthem before the start of games.

NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the programs should not be used for political messaging. AMVETS declined the opportunity to amend their ad.

Controversy aside, the participation of 15 Medal of Honor (MoH) recipients from WWII, Vietnam and Afghanistan may be one of best parts of the Super Bowl.

WWII Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, 94, will flip the coin that gives the winning captain the opportunity to elect to kick off or receive. Williams will be surrounded by fellow MoH recipients from the Vietnam War: Bennie Adkins, Army; Don Ballard, Navy; Sammy Davis, Army; Roger Donlon, Army; Tom Kelley, Navy; Allan Kellogg, Marines; Gary Littrell, Army; Walter Marm, Army; Robert Patterson, Army; and James Taylor, Army.

MoH recipients from Afghanistan who will be participating are: Sal Giunta, Army; Flo Groberg, Army; Leroy Petry, Army; and Clint Romesha, Army.

“These courageous individuals deserve to be recognized on America’s biggest stage,” said Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner.

The NFL’s military appreciation initiative “Salute to Service” has been running all season. The league also partners with military nonprofits Pat Tillman Foundation, TAPS, USO, and Wounded Warrior Project.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

NFL Rejects “Please Stand” Ad

pleasestand

By Debbie Gregory.

The NFL rejected a one-page ad for the NFL’s Super Bowl program submitted by AMVETS with the message “Please Stand,” for being too political. According to AMVETS, the league is guilty of corporate censorship.

“The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl,: said NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy. “It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”

AMVETS full-page ad pictured the American flag, saluting soldiers and the words “Please Stand,” referring to the movement of NFL players protesting racial inequality and injustice by kneeling during the performance of the National Anthem before the start of games.

“The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl,” according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

“The NFL has long supported the military and veterans and will again salute our servicemembers in the Super Bowl with memorable on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy said a VFW ad for the Super Bowl program was submitted and later approved for a tagline that read: “We Stand for Veterans” with text describing benefits the organization offers. The league, which has editorial control over the content, gave AMVETS the opportunity to amend their ad, using phrases such as “Please Honor Our Veterans” or “Please Stand for Our Veterans.”

AMVETS national commander, Marion Polk, wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying: “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.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.