The military group American Veterans (AMVETS) says the NFL rejected their #PleaseStand full page ad for the Super Bowl.
The ad features a color guard holding an American flag with a call to action to donate $20 to AMVETS.
AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying "freedom of speech works both ways."
"We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, [but] imposing corporate censorship to deny those same rights to those veterans who have secured it for all is reprehensible."
NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy says they chose to not accept the ad because it was making a "political statement".
"The Super Bowl program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams, and the Super Bowl. It has never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement."
He also says AMVETS originally submitted the ad without the hashtag in the "Please Stand" portion.
McCarthy says the NFL approved other taglines like "Please Honor Our Veterans" or "Please Stand for our Veterans," but AMVETS did not respond and the program was published without the AMVETS ad.
He also added that the NFL will continue to salute service members with "on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game."
However, in the letter Polk addressed these kinds of moves by writing:
"...veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime, or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel."