NFL to air anti-domestic violence ad during Super Bowl

It's the PSA equivalent of protection money, says AT editor Thomas Lifson. The NFL, with plenty of domestic abuse PR on its mind, is caving in to the feninists, who once touted a bogus statistic that spousal abuse skyrockets on Super Bowl Sundays (it doesn't).  

The Super Bowl is a bonanza for advertising agencies who get paid huge bucks to create memorable 30, 60, and even 120 second spots for large corporations. This year, companies will pay up to $4.5 million for a 30 second ad - a record.

But the most memorable ad this year may be for a coalition of anti-domestic violence groups that have been given 30 seconds by the NFL to air what might be one of the most unusual commercials ever broadcast during the Big Game.

The "No More" coalition has had several spots on cable recently with celebrities promoting  the "No More" domestic violence or sexual assaults message. This commercial has no actors - only a real life 9/11 call from an obviously terrified woman.

The NFL can use the good PR considering its problems with domestic abuse charges made against players in recent months.



With the recent controversy over Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice, and San Francisco's Ray McDonald alleged sexual assault of a woman, the NFL badly needs some good PR when it comes to violence against women.

The league has not historically taken abuse by players seriously. According to the USA Today NFL arrest database, there have been 89 family violence arrests of NFL players since January 2000, making domestic violence the worst crime category within the NFL. In the first few weeks of 2015, one NFL player, New Orleans' Junior Galette, was arrested for alleged assault of a woman in his home. He denied the allegation.

But the bigger problem isn't going away.

The NFL's refusal to understand domestic violence and punish offenders obviously needs to change. Although the league deserves polite applause for using the most-watched sporting event of the year to raise awareness about domestic violence, one powerful ad isn't going to solve the problem.

The NFL seems committed to penalizing domestic violence perpetrators through its new Personal Conduct Policy. It has hired domestic violence advocates such as Cynthia Hogan, one of the original authors of the Congress' 1993 Violence Against Women Act.

But there are easy things we can all do to end domestic violence. The first: learn how complex and cold-blooded abuse is. Intimate partner abuse has nothing to do with testosterone, or playing or watching sports. It doesn't even necessarily have anything to do with being male.

Relationship abuse is a systematic pattern of psychological and/or physical domination, perpetrated by both men and women at alarming rates across all ethnicities, income levels, educational degrees, religions and nationalities. Relationship violence is one of our society's most common, underreported and underprosecuted felony crimes.

Can a Public Service Announcement change the world? Probably not. The PSA will not alter the behavior of abusers, or reform a rapist. But the first step in addressing the problem is acknowledging it exists. This ad is a powerful example of raising awareness of an issue that affects millions of men and women of all ages.

It's time that we begin to address this problem. Recognizing that there is an epidemic of abuse is the first step.

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