NFL Rejects Super Bowl Ad Due To Subtle Second Amendment Reference

The NFL’s guidelines for commercials state, “Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g. outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.”


By Rachel Alexander | December 11, 2013
 

Marty Daniel of Daniel Defense/Fox News Insider

Who would have thought a TV commercial would be rejected for subtly promoting one of our constitutional rights? Not just any right, either, but one so important the Founding Fathers codified it as the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Daniel Defense, which manufactures AR-15 parts and accessories, submitted a commercial for the February 2, 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII to be played in New Jersey at the Meadowlands, which would be broadcast worldwide. The ad did not mention guns or ammo. The National Football League (NFL) doesn’t just prohibit guns in commercials, it goes beyond its own policies to stamp out anything remotely construed as related to the firearms industry.

The ad is relatively benign – nothing like the violence seen on many video game ads common on television today. It features a man coming home to his wife and baby, while narrating how he takes care of them and no one should tell him he can’t protect them. At the end, the logo for Daniel Defense briefly appears featuring the silhouette of an AR-15. Guns are never mentioned.

The NFL’s guidelines for commercials state, “Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g. outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.”

After the ad was rejected, Daniel Defense, which sells other kinds of products besides firearms, revised it to remove the gun logo at the end and replace it with the American flag – yet the NFL still refused to run it. By not following their own guidelines, it became painfully clear that someone running the NFL has an anti-gun agenda, or perhaps one of the media conglomerates that airs the Super Bowl, like Comcast, is putting pressure on the organization. Comcast reportedly refused to air ads from two stores that sold guns earlier this year, due to a change in its policy after the Newtown school shooting. One was a pawn shop and the other also sold archery equipment.

The Super Bowl is known for its risque ads. Go Daddy made a name for itself with prurient commercials that offended many people. It has become apparent over the years that the NFL’s decision to reject an ad is not based on offensiveness, it is based on cultural values and political viewpoints. Anything perceived as too right wing or Christian will be rejected. In 2011, a commercial was rejected because it featured the athlete Tim Tebow with “John 3:16” written in black smudges under his eyes.

The type of people who watch the Super Bowl probably have more in common with the family values depicted in the commercial as portrayed by Daniel Defense than they do the sleazy kinds of ads the Super Bowl has become known for in recent years. The company’s chief executive, Marty Daniel, told Fox & Friends, “We believe the average, that the majority of the Super Bowl fans have the same values that we have at Daniel Defense.”

Although the NFL enjoys tax-exempt status, even though it brings in $25 billion annually, it behaves more like a for-profit corporation. Fortunately, when the NFL rejects an ad for the Super Bowl, it usually generates considerable publicity. Within a few days after the rejected ad had been posted on YouTube, it had been seen by 100,000 people. Witty NRA News spokesman Colion Noir made a YouTube clip about it which went viral, viewed by over a million people in just a couple of days.

The NFL is not part of government, but it falls under government regulation when it comes to broadcasting standards. As such, it is engaging in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination to ban one type of free speech while permitting others. Although commercial speech is provided less protection by the Constitution than other forms of speech, there must be a substantial governmental interest in order to restrict it. There is no conceivable interest that could outweigh the Second Amendment. The NFL is blazenly stomping over our two most important rights codified in the Constitution.


Rachel Alexander is the founder of the Intellectual Conservative and an attorney. Ms. Alexander is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.