Saturday, February 17, 2007

NFL Whimps Out On Border Patrol Ad

Border Patrol Ad Too Tough for NFL Publication
By Fred Lucas Staff Writer
February 15, 2007 - For the rough and tumble National Football League, a recruitment ad for the U.S. Border Patrol was deemed "too hard-hitting."

The agency tasked to protect the land and sea borders of the United States sought to buy print advertising in the 242-page program for Super Bowl XLI, sold at the stadium on game day and over the Internet. The program featured articles on the teams and players, interspersed among ads for credit cards, beer, soft drinks, hotels and laundry detergent.

"It's a light-hearted publication," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Cybercast News Service.

The Border Patrol recruitment ad, on the other hand, was anything but lighthearted, McCarthy said, explaining the NFL's decision to reject it.

"As Border Patrol agents, it'll be your responsibility to prevent the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the United States," it said.

"You'll help detect and prevent the unlawful entry of undocumented aliens into the U.S. and apprehend violators of our immigration laws. In addition to those important duties, you'll play a primary role in stopping drug smuggling along our borders."

The NFL offered the federal agency a chance to submit an alternative ad, McCarthy said.

"Something less hard-hitting or jarring would have been accepted," he said. "This particular ad brought readers into territory they were not necessarily ready for."

Further, the NFL didn't want to appear as if they were taking a side in the debate over illegal immigration, McCarthy added.

"We don't take a position on this. We're sitting on the 50-yard line," he said. "The language in this particular ad was too hard-hitting."

Thus far, the NFL is the only sports league to reject the ad.

The National Basketball Association will feature the ad in its program for the NBA All Star Game, while the publications for NCAA Final Four and Pro Bull Rider magazine will also carry the ad, said Mike Friel, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol.(Read More)

The Border Patrol should have added a disclaimer that agents may be incarcerated at the whim of the Justice Dept. and allied judges and placed in general population where they may be beaten within an inch of their lives. Also, agents and their families are responsible for all legal fees incurred. Other than that it is a great ad.

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