Unsafe Safety Gear

Feb 4 2013 @ 8:42pm

If you didn’t see it last night (say, if you were busy migrating a website), here is the NFL’s PR ad that aired during the Super Bowl:

Ezra Klein thinks it’s misleading:

The ad is meant to make you feel better about watching football. It’s meant to show how the NFL has made the game safer, with pads and and helmets and rules. Instead, it shows how it’s made the game more dangerous, making it easier for the players to hit harder, last longer, endure more trauma. And it shows how we’re complicit, too. Even as the ad is meant to assuage our guilt about the game’s violence, it’s all about the game’s violence — it’s one big hit after another, because that’s why we tune in, that’s why we like to watch. The ad celebrates the NFL’s sobriety by ordering everyone a round of shots.

The NFL hasn’t evolved to be safer. It’s evolved to be more lucrative, which means being more fun to watch, which means having bigger and more spectacular hits.

The Dish’s long-running thread asking “Is Football The Next Big Tobacco?” is here.