U.S. Rep Jim Renacci has pulled an ad scheduled to run during Sunday's Cleveland Browns-Cincinnati Bengals broadcast amid the players' protests during and before the national anthem.
Renacci issued a statement Friday that said:
“While the First Amendment clearly affords NFL players and officials the freedom to engage in this appalling behavior, having the right to do something does not mean it’s the right thing to do. Throughout our nation’s history, countless American men and women of all backgrounds and races have sacrificed deeply to protect and preserve the ideals that our nation and its flag stand for—and our National Anthem serves as a tribute to that sacrifice that we should honor, not disparage. And while the right to speak and protest peacefully is a fundamental freedom that we as Americans enjoy, protesting the most sacred symbols of those freedoms is both sadly ironic and an inexcusable, offensive display of contempt for what our nation stands for."
The $20,00 spot ad will be rescheduled for an non-NFL event, according to the statement.
Renacci announced plans to run for Ohio governor in March.