LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Controversy surrounding a commercial allegedly barred from airing during the Super Bowl has many gun advocates questioning what the National Football League’s stance is regarding firearms.
Gun maker Daniel Defense says a minute-long advertisement it planned to broadcast during the game was denied despite being carefully produced to adhere to the league’s advertising policy.
A league spokesperson called the company’s claim “completely bogus” and denied ever having received the commercial. He said the retailer was manufacturing a public relations stunt aimed at drumming up millions of dollars in free publicity through media coverage.
Supporters of the Second Amendment, including radio personality Chad Dukes, who co-hosts the afternoon show on 106.7 The Fan along with former Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, are calling for the NFL to clarify its stance on firearms.
Dukes, citing a long list of previous controversial Super Bowl commercials, says he finds the alleged rejection offensive.
“You’re the NFL and you don’t want to offend anybody, I guess,” he said recently during an appearance on the National Rifle Association-produced show ‘Cam and Company.’ “But you take money every year from GoDaddy.com where all those commercials are are women disrobing… It’s more offensive to have a gun manufacture that absolutely fits within your guidelines than to have Candice Michelle or Danica Patrick fake taking off… It seems drastically illogical for them and it just seems like their policies don’t vibe together.”
Dukes says many owners of firearms now perceive the NFL as “anti-gun” because of the controversy surrounding the alleged banishment of the Daniel Defense advertisement.
FOX, the network broadcasting this year’s Super Bowl, charged advertisers $4 million per 30-second commercial.
“I just would wonder if you got these guys in a room how they would rationalize not taking that check,” said Dukes.
The NFL’s advertising policy states firearms, ammunition or other weapons companies may not be promoted during broadcasts. An exception can be made for stores that sell other products in addition to guns and ammunition.
Walmart, for example, sells rifles and gun accessories in many of its stores and is also a longtime NFL advertiser. Because firearms are not the focus of the advertisements and account for only a small percentage of the retailer’s sales, the commercials are permitted.
The NFL forbids any advertisement that mentions or display firearms, ammunition or other weapons.
Daniel Defense says its spot meets the league’s qualifications because the store sells outdoor gear and supplies in addition to firearms.
Officially, the NFL has no policy on gun ownership among players or a position in the ongoing gun control debate.
It does, however, have a policy related to firearms in the workplace. Such policies are commonplace in work environments.
Firearms are forbidden in every facility owned, operated or being used by an NFL club.
Players are permitted to legally posses a weapon and must strictly adhere to the league policy as well as local laws governing firearms. An NFL security representative is made available to players for consultation regarding the laws.
Players who violate the policy or face criminal weapons charges are subject to fines, suspension from playing and criminal prosecution.
If the league was decidedly “anti-gun” as some believe, Dukes said he would make every effort not to financially support the game — an effort that would prove to be no easy task.
“I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t watch games on Sunday,” he said. “But it absolutely would stop me from picking up the draft day cap or a new jersey for a new player each year.”