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Mark Alexander / February 6, 2018

Those Uniformed Super Bowl Doormen

Active duty personnel and veterans objected that enlisted Marines were used as “door-pullers” for NFL celebrity athletes.

Before the end of Super Bowl LII Sunday, we were receiving objections from active duty military personnel and veterans because enlisted Marines were used as “door-pullers” for NFL celebrity athletes.

Last season’s game viewership and attendance dropped off markedly, the direct result of the NFL’s inaction regarding the “take a knee” protests during the national anthem — which offended the league’s large fan base of American Patriots. Not wanting to remind fans of the inexcusable behavior of some of its players, the NFL rejected a Super Bowl ad encouraging players to honor our flag.

In an effort to restore its reputation, the league invited 15 Medal of Honor recipients onto the field before the game, including Iwo Jima Marine Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, who participated in the coin toss. Indeed, the pregame tribute to these men was fitting and not a knee was taken on the field during the national anthem.

There was also an outstanding Marine recruiting ad:

As for uniformed military personnel pulling doors for the athletes, this was a case of bad optics, appearing as if the USMC was part of the NFL’s public relations plan to overcome the disrespectful kneeling charades. Fact is, this was probably a great experience for the young Marines at those doors, but whoever authorized uniformed Marines to pull those doors, whether it was in the local recruiting office or somewhere further up the chain of command, should have given the optics more consideration.

As for the NFL’s reputation, we will get back to you at the end of the next season…

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