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Girls & Women

Super Bowl ad shows NFL's hypocritical stances on women

The NFL is known for rigid gender roles: brawny men act all aggresive in the spotlight, while hypersexualized women cheer on the sidelines. 

It's also known for a lack of integrity when it comes to supporting women's rights. 

On the one hand, the NFL enthusiastically supports breast cancer awareness initiatives. On the other, it half-heartedly deals with domestic violence. This dichotomy came into jarring relief when star running back Ray Rice nearly got away with viciously attacking his wife in 2014. Had the assault not been caught by security footage and had that footage not been leaked to the press, then the incident probably would have slipped by. Even after the footage was revealed to the public, the commissioner initially meted out a meager two-game suspension, showing a clear preference for profit over human rights.

Since 2013, 16 players have been arrested for domestic assault. Who knows how many cases went unreported. 

To Made by Women Media, this shows that the NFL cravenly refuses to stand up for women when it matters. 

So they released an ad a week before the big game to call the league out for its hypocrisy and to demand that action be taken to end violence against women.

In the ad, three women hold their hands over their breasts and thank the NFL for supporting breast cancer awareness. The camera then climbs upward and the whole premise changes. Bruises on the women's faces and necks glare at the viewer. The tone changes from warm to stern as they ask the NFL to "stop tolerating abuse."

The commercial ends with a call for a new policy: #OneHitMeansOut. If players attack a woman off the field, then they get kicked out of the league. It's that simple. One hit and you're gone. 

This would be a meaningful change that would finally show players that it's never ok to hit women. And this rule can happen if enough people stand up.