Sportress of Blogitude

Eli Manning, other NFL players to star in upcoming anti-domestic violence PSAs


The NFL fittingly has been under fire as of late due to the rash of domestic violence accusations and arrests involving its players. The manner in which Roger Goodell and NFL brass botched the Ray Rice investigation only did more to shed light on an issue that appears to be a pervasive and troubling problem that deserves prompt attention, sound analysis and proposed solutions that are both reasonable and just.

Domestic violence is of course not a problem maligning the NFL, but the league with all its power and influence could help assist an effort to increase awareness, drastically alter public perception and effect real, substantive change for the better.

In September, a PSA featuring such Hollywood stars as Amy Poehler, ICE-T, Courtney Cox, Andre Braugher, among others, began to air during broadcasts of NFL games on all networks that air games, reportedly at a cost to the league of $6 million.

The spots, also starring Mariska Hargitay, are part of the “NO MORE” campaign of the actress’ Joyful Heart Foundation.

An upcoming series of PSAs done in a similar tone reportedly will feature NFL stars taking part in passing along the message.

The spots, filmed Monday and Tuesday in New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, reportedly will star “dozens” of prominent NFL stars, according to a USA Today report.

Three of the first NFL players to be featured in the PSAs reportedly include New York Giants players Eli Manning and Mark Herzlich, as well as NFL vice president Troy Vincent. The PSA was filmed in New York and directed by Hargitay herself. Actors Blair Underwood and Tate Donovan reportedly will be directing the spots being filmed in different locations.

“This is tangible. This is a monumental step toward change,” Hargitay told USA Today Sports in a telephone interview on Monday. “If badass NFL heroes are coming forward to talk about these issues, I guarantee you it is going give inspiration and permission to young boys to step up in a new way. Love in a new way, protect in a new way, and to be a man in a new way. That’s what’s so beautiful, right?”

While much more work clearly remains to be done by the NFL to restore any semblance of a positive public image for the maligned league reeling from controversy — if the damage done hasn’t been irreparable — the PSAs are arguably a positive step in the right direction. But more should obviously be expected.

The report notes that the new PSAs will begin airing during the nationally televised Oct. 23 Thursday night game between Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers. The spots also will garner extensive airtime during Week 8, a move that reportedly will cost the NFL $3 million.