The NFL has an image problem and, with some players, an actual problem, when it comes to domestic abuse within its ranks. The “No More” campaign, which debuts tonight on Thursday Night Football, is the League’s latest attempt to address the former. The ads, from Y&R New York, feature football superstars like Eli Manning and Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay, whose mother was killed by an abusive partner. Other voices include league officials like Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, whose mother is a survivor of domestic violence. Each League member faces the camera and vows to stop making excuses for players accused of assault. “No more boys will be boys,” says Manning. “No more why doesn’t she just leave.” And “No more he just has a temper.”
The spots follow on weeks of previous “No More” PSAs, produced by the Joyful Heart Foundation and featuring celebrities; these new ads are the first featuring members of the NFL. The new ads were directed by Joyful Heart Foundation founder, actress Mariska Hargitay, and actors Tate Donovan and Blair Underwood.
Meanwhile, the campaign’s social platform asks viewers to download an official #NoMore placard and share it with their own anti-abuse pledges. It’s smart PR, and hopefully these role models will inspire ordinary Americans to take the problem of domestic violence seriously. Whether the League understands that its problem is about more than images, however, is another question entirely.JM