by Mariah Castillo
Warning: this article talks about sensitive material relating to domestic violence.
This past Fall, the NFL has partnered with No More, an organization aimed to raise awareness about domestic violence. Their most recent commercial, which was broadcasted to millions of viewers during the Super Bowl, was especially striking, replicating a woman calling 911 by pretending to order pizza. However, while I appreciate the effort the NFL has made, I think this doesn’t go far enough.
First of all, having an ad concerning domestic violence during the Super Bowl might be misguided. It has been recorded that after a big sports event, the number of cases of domestic violence increases astronomically, mainly because a person whose team has lost will take out their frustration on their partner. While it may increase the awareness of spectators to see the signs of abuse, and while it offers people suffering from domestic violence resources to get out of their situations, it may also make abusers more aware about the various resources and tactics that may incriminate them. The number of incidences of domestic violence after this year’s Super Bowl is still undetermined, but, regardless of whether the commercial reached so many people or not, it is still possible that there has been an immediate spike in the number of incidences of abuse.
I also believe that, by partnering with No More, the NFL has only taken a small step in tackling domestic violence. I personally find it a bit lazy for them to take a post on Reddit practically verbatim in this specific commercial, and while I appreciate the various players of the NFL for being part of the various campaigns led by No More, I still believe the whole league has a problem. The NFL has in various incidents defended their players after they’ve been embroiled in domestic violence allegations. Even some of their fans have tacitly supported the specific players by buying merchandise, discrediting the victims, and even dressing up as Ray Rice for Halloween.
The NFL has not done enough to tackle their own issues related to domestic violence, and I personally believe that partnering with No More now, after several allegations of abuse by football players, is to save face. I understand that football players have lots of endorsements, and money/ reputation may be at stake, but if the NFL actually punishes their players instead of protect them in the midst of allegations, then their partnership with No More will have meaning. Their call for “No more abuse” and “No more domestic violence” will only be hypocritical unless the league takes measures to end it.
Mariah Castillo is a junior at Barnard College and the Editor-in-Chief of The Nine Ways of Knowing
Do you have a different opinion? Please let us know in the comments below.