NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In her bid for governor of Tennessee, Republican Rep. Diane Black will run an ad during the Super Bowl pregame show saying “it’s too bad that the league doesn’t respect the patriotism of our national anthem.”
Black’s campaign spokesman, Chris Hartline, said Thursday that the ad urging fans to stand will run on one network in several Tennessee markets at a cost of more than $50,000. Some will see it right before kickoff, he said.
It’s a response to the NFL’s refusal to run an ad from the group American Veterans saying “Please Stand” in the printed Super Bowl program.
The league has been roiled by debate over players kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the game program is not the place for messages that could be seen as political. McCarthy noted that the NFL approved a Veterans of Foreign Wars ad saying “We Stand for Veterans.”
In her spot, Black says that though the NFL refused the AMVETS ad urging everyone to stand, “they can’t stop you and me.”
“So tonight, wherever you are watching this game, please stand for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and join me in standing up for veterans,” Black, a Gallatin lawmaker, said in the ad.
She’s not the only Republican candidate in Tennessee to use ad time to voice support for standing for the anthem, a call that has particularly rallied the Republican base. President Donald Trump mentioned it in his State of the Union speech.
Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, bought radio time for an ad that says she stands “for veterans, the president and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”
Blackburn faces former Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher in the GOP primary, and that winner likely will face former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in the general election.
Black is the third Republican candidate to secure TV ad time in the open Tennessee race to replace Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who is hitting term limits.
In a $300,000 buy this week, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd’s ad says he’s against abortion, thinks Tennesseans should work and not remain on welfare and says immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities” are illegal.
An ad released by Franklin businessman Bill Lee last week discusses the death of his first wife and his leadership role in his construction company.
State House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, rounds out the governor’s race field of major Republicans.
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley are running on the Democratic side.