The National Football League has declared “football is gay” and “transgender” in a new ad. What seems like a mission to alienate the NFL’s red-blooded fanbase is a stunt backing Raiders star Carl Nassib, who recently came out.
A video released by the NFL on Monday features simple white text on a black background, declaring among other things that “football is gay,” “football is lesbian,” “football is queer,” and “football is transgender.” It ends with the league’s logo decorated in pride colors and with a promotion for The Trevor Project, a youth-focused LGBT charity.
If you love this game, you are welcome here. Football is for all. Football is for everyone.
The NFL stands by the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.
— NFL (@NFL) June 28, 2021
Speaking to Outsports, an NFL spokesperson said that the ad was released as a direct response to Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib coming out as gay last week. Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out, though some of his fellow stars told the media that gay men often play in the league but keep their homosexuality under wraps.
The ad caused a stir online, as some commenters wondered how the NFL settled on “football is gay” as a catchphrase, and others rolled their eyes at the spread of LGBT messaging to yet another facet of American life.
thinking about the room of marketing execs and months of focus groups and hours of pitches that all culminated in like one 50 year old suit guy saying "yeah alright, ok. football is gay" https://t.co/TDX9dOdJRe
— Liz Franczak (@liz_franczak) June 28, 2021
This video just feels like an exec shoveling a spoonful of random, focus-group vetted words down someone's throats while screaming "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? JUST TELL ME WHAT WORDS YOU WANT TO HEAR??"
— Richard (@renuvian) June 28, 2021
Football is dead https://t.co/PEuV9yW3eO
— Peachy Keenan (@KeenanPeachy) June 28, 2021
Seriously, they put the words "football is transgender" in there. For an NFL commercial.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) June 28, 2021
“Please just play football and put the rainbow flag down,” one wrote, while another was more forceful. “Football is football,” he wrote, “stop trying to push this s**t down our f*****g throats.”
“I can’t wait for June to be over,” another replied, referring to the imminent end of Pride Month. “Thank God it’s almost over so I don’t need to hear this stuff anymore.”
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