2015-12-23 21:59:43

WATCH: The NBA Declares War On Gun Violence

This post originally appeared on AddictingInfo.org.

In a sign that America has had enough of the daily bloodshed, the National Basketball Association, not some of the players but the entire organization, is launching an anti-gun campaign:

In a move with little precedent in professional sports, the N.B.A. is putting the weight of its multibillion-dollar brand and the prestige of its star athletes behind a series of television commercials calling for an end to gun violence.

The first ads, timed to reach millions of basketball fans during a series of marquee games on Christmas Day, focus on shooting victims and contain no policy recommendations. The words “gun control” are never mentioned.

But the organization that paid for them, Everytown for Gun Safety, has a robust and controversial agenda: It was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloombergspecifically as a counterweight to the National Rifle Association, and the group also battles at the local, state and federal level to expand background checks for gun buyers, strengthen penalties for gun trafficking and ban gun sales to people convicted of domestic abuse.

Just as an aside, the only thing that is “controversial” about EGS’s agenda is that we’re even discussing the merits of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Only in America is this considered “controversial.”

Still, if you listen carefully, you can hear Wayne LaPierre having a ministroke. The NBA can’t be bought and it certainly can’t be bullied. While undoubtedly some Republicans are going to want to punish the sports league, basketball is a multi-billion dollar industry in its own right and attacking it will be a public relations nightmare. People take their sports seriously and will not look favorably upon politicians accusing the NBA of being “unamerican” or whatever talking points the NRA feeds them.

Even if the commercials continue to avoid advocating for a specific policy, just the push back against America’s creepy obsession with guns will an enormous win. The star power of the NBA’s top players is something the NRA simply can’t match.

Here’s one of the first spots that will be shown on Christmas:

If this campaign is a success, it probably won’t be long until other sports leagues like FIFA and MLB get involved. The NFL, for instance, could use some good PR for a change. That would be the worst case scenario for the gun industry but not an unlikely one. People love their guns, but a lot more people love their professional sports.

Just the idea of the blood soaked monsters at the NRA losing sleep over this is enough to put a spring in my step.

Gun Reform Gun Violence National Basketball Association (NBA) Stephen Curry


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