A veteran’s group had its Super Bowl ad rejected by the NFL, one which would have made a case for standing for the flag.
In case you haven’t heard, there has been some controversy this season regarding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. At its core, the protests are about the oppression of black Americans, both random and systematic. Buzzwords have been flung around and attached to the protests and the issue behind it all has been aggressively lost in translation.
At its core, the NFL is not about fixing America — it’s about football. It is, however, a sport where most of its employees are subjected to the oppression that is being protested, putting the NFL in a tricky position between supporting the players while also trying not to alienate the people who help pay for everything.
That makes the NFL’s decision to not run a Super Bowl ad from a veteran’s group that sends up the idea of standing for the flag. Apparently the NFL was game to run the ad but the two sides couldn’t agree on language, and it cost the veteran’s group $30,000 for the trouble.
Once again, with the optics of the NFL seemingly spitting at a group of veterans as they try to tell people to stand for the flag, the debate about the protests is firing up (see how easy it is to visceral that image is without context?).
When you break down the issue of the national anthem protests, a lot gets lost in the little cracks of the debate. It’s not protesting the anthem it’s protesting during the anthem. It’s not protesting America, it’s protesting on behalf of the American people. Semantics has never been this important to a debate, yet it’s the first thing tossed out of the window when screaming matches start.
It’s light through a prism: In order to have a prism you need to have an angle, but the light is there regardless. Spinning the issue and looking at it from all angles, not through a single prism, would show that there’s deeper meaning but it gets lost.
The message is simple: stand for the flag and honor veterans.
The other message is simple: kneel to raise awareness that oppression that dishonors veteran sacrifice.
Neither side is that far apart on message, but there seems to be a chasm between the two that simply cannot be bridged.