When the NFL intimidated an Indiannapolis church concerning its superbowl party, I sent them this response. I am rarely negative or confrontational, but I thought the NFL’s interpretation of copyright privileges was a threat to free speech and free exercise of religion.
An open letter to the NFL,
Our church just cancelled its participation in a Super Bowl party that 60 of our teens were looking forward to, having discovered your surprising objection to people viewing your telecast in a church context. Many young people are obviously quite disappointed.
I suggest that trying to police what people can and cannot think about when viewing a football game is ludicrous. Your policy to prevent “messages” that coincide with public TV broadcasts is offensive in a nation that is guaranteed freedom of speech by law. And then to specifically target people of faith. What are you thinking? Dispersing church groups to send young people to bars (which you have exempted from your rule) may be good for your sponsors, but it displays a shabby and tawdry NFL.
In years past, many viewers have been discouraged by lewd halftime exhibitionism and a Super Bowl engine that seems to be fueled by alcohol. But this year, it is the NFL itself that has left a bad taste in our mouths.
You can read about the matter here: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54081. The key issue continues to be the NFL’s implied restriction of coordinating any sort of “message” with its public broadcast.