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NFL COMMISSIONER GOODELL ASKED FOR MORE WHOLESOME COMMERCIALS DURING FOOTBALL GAMES
by MONTANA NEWS ASSOCIATION
National., Sept. 5, 2007--/mna press/ -- Illinois Family Institute's Executive Director David E. Smith sent the following letter today to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for family-friendly content during football games.
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
Millions of families enjoy watching NFL games. As a lifelong Chicago resident, I am -- and always will be -- a diehard Chicago Bears fan. And as the father of two young boys under the age of six, I greatly anticipate being able to share "manly" activities with them, such as sports, fishing, and hunting. To that end, I am already teaching my older son the rules of football while we watch Sunday afternoon Bears games on television.
However, far too many of the advertisements and network promotional spots that are aired during game breaks are completely inappropriate for children. Some of the ads are questionable for adults as well. While many of the commercials are downright funny, a growing number of them are sexually suggestive, and some are even blatantly sexual.
These advertisements and promos seem to be in a pandering context, producing material that survives solely on its shock value or sexual emphasis. As we know all too well, Janet Jackson's exposure on national television during the Super Bowl half-time show was merely the exclamation point that stressed just how debased the entire entertainment industry has become. Despite the national outcry, the situation has not improved. I applaud the NFL's efforts to insure that subsequent Super Bowl half-time productions are more suitable for families and younger viewers, but more needs to be done on a weekly basis to safeguard the NFL's youngest fans from the onslaught of sexualization.
As a Christian, I realize that my first and utmost obligation is to foster my children's spiritual and intellectual well-being. As I am able, I will continue to switch stations during game breaks in an effort to avoid the tasteless and irresponsible commercials that dominate NFL games.
Yet, my circle of influence is fairly small. Undoubtedly there are tens of thousands of children and young adults who watch the NFL every week. Doesn't the NFL have a responsibility to this generation of viewers? Commercials that promote hedonistic behavior serve only to desensitize an impressionable audience and normalize risky and unhealthy lifestyles. In short, by allowing these commercials to be part of game day programming, the NFL family is failing to uphold the values that are important to a large segment of its viewership.
My appeal is simple; require television networks that broadcast NFL games to choose responsible sponsors and promotional spots that will not alienate families with young children in the audience. I would like to be able to enjoy NFL games on Sunday after church with my sons; however, I will choose to go to local high school and college games instead, in order to avoid exposing my boys to a barrage of indecent commercials.
Commissioner Goodell, please raise the standard and do what you can to eliminate the indecent content aired during NFL games. Thank you for your consideration.
David E. Smith, IFI Executive Director