This Sunday during the Super Bowl, the NFL will be running a commercial that’s not funny–one that will address domestic violence in a very potent way. This commercial will be the first of its kind, especially during one of the most-watched sports show in the Unite States. The NFL donated Super Bowl airtime for the PSA and paid its production costs. The NFL decided to team up with No More after a flurry of headlines where some of their biggest star players have been involved in domestic and child domestic abuse scandals. So what better place than on the same stage as the heavily viewed game?
The Grey New York and NoMore.org ad is short, but hits hard. There will be a 30-second version of the commercial airing during the Super Bowl, but the extended version is above. The call is reportedly based on a real-life scenario. You can hear a woman calling 911, as if she’s ordering a pizza. The dispatcher is confused, but doesn’t give up on the woman, asking her if she’s got an emergency and if she can’t talk because the person she fears speaking up about is with her. It’s simple, but stunning:
“I’d like to order a pizza for delivery.”
“Ma’am, you’ve reached 911. This is an emergency line.”
“Yeah, a large with half pepperoni, half mushrooms.”
“Um, you know you’ve called 911? This is an emergency line.”
“Do you know how long it will be?”
“OK, ma’am, is everything OK over there? Do you have an emergency or not?”
“…and you’re unable to talk because?”
“Is there someone in the room with you? Just say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”
“OK, um, it looks like I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?”
“Can you stay on the phone with me?”
“No. See you soon. Thank you.”
Some people have already voiced their disdain for the uncomfortable commercial, claiming that the Super Bowl was not the appropriate time to display domestic violence. But if not then, when? There’s never a good time to talk about domestic violence, but with players like Ray Rice and Josh McNary violently putting their hands on women and having the entire world witness it first hand, it’s clear there’s something to talk about.
“We hope this No More PSA will bring Americans together — on a day families and friends spend together — in the effort to end domestic violence and sexual assault,” No More Director Virginia Witt told Rolling Stone on Tuesday. Kudos to everyone involved in making this commercial a moment during the Super Bowl. Now if we could only get a commercial that brings light to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. One at a time.