A nonprofit group run by allies of President Trump launched a Facebook ad Sunday aimed at millions of people across the country that urges them to stand with the president by turning off National Football League games.
“Rather than watch the NFL disrespect our country,” the ad reads, "turn on something that honors the great men and women who make sacrifices to protect our freedom and what our Great American Flag stands for.”
The online ad features an image of Trump with his hand over his heart and the hashtag #TakeAStandNotAKnee.
The ad by America First Policies is targeted at millions of Trump supporters who watch the NFL, according to a person familiar with the buy.
“The right to free speech comes with great responsibility and a duty to honor what is sacred,” Erin Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a statement. “We've chosen to stand in solidarity with Americans who refuse to allow a select group of hateful individuals to disrespect the American flag — and for the men and women who have given their lives defending that very flag.”
The new campaign comes amid escalating tensions between the football league and Trump, who took aim Friday at players who kneel during the national anthem.
The president's comments drew criticism from some team owners, including major GOP donors. Among them was Houston Texans owner Robert McNair, who called the president's remarks “divisive and counterproductive.”