NFL Airs Must See Domestic Violence #SuperBowl Ad

NFL Airs Must See Domestic Violence #SuperBowl Ad

The NFL’s domestic violence problem finally became public last summer when the Ray Rice video surfaced. We wrote about it here, here, and here. Since that time, there have been changes made within the NFL and in how the public views this issue. Athletes came forward with their stories, and Law & Order SVU star Mariska Hargitay, the founder of A Joyful Heart has helped to get celebrities involved with the No More campaign.

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Jane McManus of ESPNW.com writes:

The No More ads have been an important part of the NFL season. The league committed more than $35 million dollars of ad time to the public service announcements, which feature celebrities and football players discussing and reacting to the issue.

Maile Zambuto and Mariska Hargitay are part of the team behind the No More campaign, whose release time was moved up after the NFL donated air time.
The most recent incarnation is called “Speechless,” in which an athlete or celebrity like Cris Carter or Hilary Swank prepares to talk about domestic violence and becomes emotional — red eyes, looking away, perhaps about to cry.

These words flash on the screen: “Domestic violence and sexual assault are hard subjects for everyone to talk about.”

Then, more emotional reaction.

Finally: “Help us start the conversation.”

Each ad outlines one of the very real reasons why domestic violence is so difficult to stop. People will talk about criminals shooting up schools, people will talk about thieves and murderers, but people do NOT talk about domestic violence. Why don’t they? Why don’t we?

That’s the $64,000 question right there. Why is it so difficult to talk about domestic violence and how it affects so many lives? Why is it so difficult to shine a very bright spotlight on something so damaging to families, wives, girlfriends, and children? We talk about everything else on the planet so easily – why can’t we talk about domestic violence the same way?

I was taught that men who hit women are to be reviled. I was taught that a man should never hit me. I watched family, mentors, and friends teach their sons and daughters that verbal or physical violence toward their loved ones is absolutely not the answer. Yet, saying No More isn’t as easy as one would think. You see, domestic violence isn’t just verbal or physical. It is mental as well. Domestic violence victims come to believe that everything is or will be their fault. They come to believe that living in fear of what will happen if they blink wrong, laugh inappropriately, or put the canned goods in the wrong order is normal.

There are far too many victims of domestic violence who will never be able to climb out of the hell that they are in. Unfortunately it is because they are paralyzed by fear and never reach that point of saying No More. Equally unfortunate are those domestic violence victims who see the only way they can get away from their tormentor is to maim or kill them. Yes, there are success stories. Yet many of those success stories remain hidden, and its easy to understand why. Those who said No More and freed themselves from the fear are rebuilding their lives, trying to build themselves up, and doing everything they can to put an incredibly painful past behind them.

Meanwhile there are many who are still trapped, yet are looking for a way out.  There are those who will figure out how they can leave or be saved by someone else. This 60-second spot; funded by the National Football League, will air during the Super Bowl game. It is chilling, scary, and very real.

America loves football. We love to yell for our favorite team, boo the refs, cheer when our rivals lose, and second-guess every single play. The Super Bowl is football amped up to the nth degree. Its full of music, ads promoting all sorts of products or services,  and halftime shows that are either great or they bomb spectacularly.

The NFL will be airing an ad on Super Bowl Sunday that strikes at the very heart of the issue of domestic violence.  The NFL No More Super Bowl ad is a MUST SEE.  It will make many uncomfortable. And that’s exactly as it should be. We should be uncomfortable. We should understand the gravity of this issue. We should start the conversation by saying and MEANING No More. And we should pray that a victim of domestic violence will see this ad and decide for herself NO MORE.

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