The National Football League has declared a request made by the public address announcer at the start of every football game, and practically every major American sporting event at every level of competition for that matter, is “too political” for the Super Bowl Program.
Put another way, the NFL facilitates and condones a public call for all 80,000+ fans, players, officials, and vendors to stand for the playing of the national anthem at every single game. Yet, the league denied a full-page ad placed by American Veterans (AMVETS) asking players and fans to “please stand” because it “could be considered by some as a political statement.”
The tricky thing about posturing as a bastion of political neutrality is you have to be very careful about past statements and actions that could be considered political. [article continues below]
For example, when your marquee event features Beyonce’s homage to the Black Panthers as halftime entertainment, you ban on political statements may appear to lack teeth. Or worse, your reasons for allowing one statement, and not another, may be seen as ideological.
Consider the NFL’s apparent “settlement” with the Players Coalition this past November. The league pledged to contribute $90 million to “social justice causes” with a portion of these funds going to 501(c)4 activity as well as avowed communist Van Jones’s advocacy organization.
501(c)4 non-profit organizations are political in nature due to their ability to engage in lobbying and public activism for or against policy. Given the NFL Players Association’s past support for organizations founded by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, it is probably safe to assume the settlement dollars will not be funding The Heritage Foundation or Family Research Center.
Following the money, this means dollars spent by fans on tickets, memorabilia, and purchases from the NFL’s advertisers are distributed to the league owners who will in turn write checks to the players’ advocacy organization. Undoubtedly, these dollars that come from fans of all ideological backgrounds will end up supporting entities like the Center for Community Change, a Soros-funded operation that helped organize anti-Trump “resistance” protests.
And yet, veterans’ asking players and fans to stand for the national anthem is “too political.”