Nine Line Apparel, a veteran-owned clothing company, created an advertisement for the Super Bowl that punches back at the national anthem protests that were once a mainstay among NFL players, initiated by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 to bring awareness to the issue of police brutality.
But CBS Sports, which has exclusive rights to host the Super Bowl, rejected the ad — and Nine Line believes the ad's content was central to its rejection.
What does the ad show?
According to the Washington Examiner, the ad, "features soldiers, first responders, and images of military graves decorated with American flags and gives credit to them for protecting the rights of those like Kaepernick to protest."
Former U.S. Marine Mark Geist, who survived the Benghazi terrorist attack, narrates the ad.
"Don't ask if your loyalty is crazy. Ask if it's crazy enough," he says in the ad. "When they question you running toward danger for those who are unable or unwilling, when they laugh at the thought of you willingly sacrificing your life for someone you may never know, stay that way."
"Some people think you're crazy for being loyal, defending the Constitution, standing for the flag. Then I guess I'm crazy," he continues. "And for those who kneel, they fail to understand that they can kneel, that they can protest, that they can despise what I stand for, even hate the truth that I speak, but they can only do that because I am crazy enough."
OUR SUPER BOWL AD GOT REJECTED! www.youtube.com
Why was the ad rejected?
Company CEO Tyler Merritt told the Washington Examiner that CBS claimed it rejected the commercial because executives were not satisfied the apparel company could foot the massive bill to air the 45-second ad.
However, Merritt doesn't buy the excuse — and believes the ad's message was central to CBS' decision.
"CBS's purported reason for rejecting a Super Bowl commercial that extols patriotism is totally out of bounds. Let's call this what it is: a blatant attempt to censor a message that their politically correct executives find offensive. We urge Americans who believe it's important to show respect for our flag and national anthem to join us in calling out this offensive bias. It's time to give a penalty flag to CBS," Merritt told the Examiner.
Super Bowl 53, between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST.