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Volume 24 No. 116
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Trump Takes On NFL: League Airs Ad Promoting Unity After Comments

With President Trump "taking aim at the NFL and its players who protest during the national anthem, the league has broadcasted a message of unity" by airing a "one-minute ad that it produced for the Super Bowl earlier this year," according to Brian Stelter of CNN.com. The league said it was originally made to "demonstrate the power of football to bring people together." The NFL last night "ran the ad again on NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' telecast." The decision to run it was "finalized" yesterday morning. An NFL spokesperson said, "We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about. It stands in stark contrast to some who practice the politics of division." The idea is to "take the high road -- avoiding any direct reference to Trump -- by airing an inspirational message" (CNN.com, 9/25).

GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert cited a source as saying that a political action committee which supports Trump began an "advertising campaign on social media" yesterday that "encourages NFL fans to turn off games and watch a patriotic movie instead." America First Policies, formed by former Trump campaign operatives earlier this year, is "seeking to boost Trump's criticism of the NFL and its players this weekend." In its initial social media graphic, it "used the hashtag #TakeAStandNotAKnee." The words "Turn off the NFL" are next to a photograph of Trump with his "hand over his heart, an American flag in the background." The ads will be "targeted at NFL fans who expressed interest in voting for Trump in the campaign" (ESPN.com, 9/24).