Super Bowl 2015 Ads: Weak NFL Domestic Violence Response Is A Buzz Kill

This year, there is a damper on Super Bowl 2015 due to the NFL’s ongoing set of scandals related to domestic violence. If you are usually on the lookout for the most amusing Super Bowl 2015 ads, take a break from the usual to check out these public service announcements from the NFL. As it was pointed out on the Saturday Night Live episode that aired the day before the Super Bowl 2015 game, fans are uncomfortable about the way the NFL has been handling the domestic violence scandals it has been incurring recently.

A Time Magazine article explains how the NFL and the Super Bowl 2015 were going to be overshadowed by scandal. Their key piece of evidence is how seriously the American public was taking the issue. In fact, the Associated Press named the NFL’s domestic violence scandals as the “News Story of the Year.”

So what did the NFL decide to do about the bad public relations these scandals have brought to the Super Bowl 2015 table? First of all, like most sports, the NFL is no stranger to scandals. An article published by the editors at AbridgeMe, the “Cliff’s Notes” version of Wikipedia, highlighted this issue. Published on Medium, AbridgeMe refers to another violent scandal some feel the NFL never fully addressed — Michael Vick’s 2007 dog-fighting ring incident, where he served almost 2 years in jail and had to repay the Atlanta Falcons.

Fans on Twitter are also not amused about the domestic violence scandals that overshadow the mood surrounding the Super Bowl 2015 game. However, some see the new NFL anti-domestic violence ads that were pre-released before the Super Bowl 2015 as being positive. , on Twitter, wrote, “The Budweiser and NFL domestic violence ads really touched me.”

In a clip from Saturday Night Live on Hulu, Colin Jost says on Weekend Update, “During Super Bowl 2015, the NFL will be showing its first domestic violence public service announcement.” But Jost follows up with a sarcastic response, saying, “Hey, that’s smart. Show a domestic violence PSA the one time NFL players can’t watch it.”

In September, Sports Illustrated posted an article about how the NFL was joining up with the No More Campaign to help stop sexual and domestic violence. This is in addition to the important domestic violence messages being placed in advertisements during the 2015 Super Bowl that were created by the NFL. But for some, this is simply not enough.

News agencies like the Oregon have editorial commentary that report Chief Executive of the MS. Foundation, Teresa C. Younger, thinks that the NFL could do more to address domestic violence during its Super Bowl 2015 ads. Younger was referencing the news conference by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that was aired on ESPN concerning domestic violence and the Super Bowl 2015. 2014 was especially troubling, due to the suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and the suspension of Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. Rice was recorded beating his wife and Peterson was filmed beating his son.

In May 2014, The Ms. Foundation for Women announced Theresa Younger as the new CEO and president. In a video filmed at the 2014 Gloria [Steinem] Awards, Younger says, “We need to build upon the Ms. Foundation legacy, not just drink from the well — but build even more wells so that the next generation of women can redefine what it looks like to grow up in this country.”


The message Younger stated at that inaugural ceremony could be heard when she responded in January 2015 to the upcoming Super Bowl ads against domestic violence. Younger said, “Airing PSAs addressing domestic violence while ignoring the larger problem of institutional sexism doesn’t cut it… Yes, we need to raise awareness about domestic violence. But we also need to do much more… we hope Roger Goodell understands that one PSA doesn’t begin to address the sexism running rampant throughout NFL.”

When discussing future work, the MS. Foundation President says, “We will be looking at more than just ads. We’ll be counting the number of women working on the field, and asking why there aren’t more. We’ll be demanding that the cheerleaders are paid fair wages and treated like athletes — not eye candy. We will look at all aspects of the NFL’s operations to expose barriers to women’s equal participation within the League.”

In addition to the Super Bowl 2015 ads by the NFL against domestic violence, there are private groups creating their own ads. A good example is UltraViolet’s “Let’s take domestic violence out of football” PSAs on YouTube. Unlike other NFL or Super Bowl 2015 domestic violence messages, the one from UltraViolet is asking for the resignation or firing of NFL Commissioner Goodell with the hashtag #GoodellMustGo.

[All images from the referenced links.]