The NBA has lent its weight to an anti-gun violence commercial set to air during TV coverage of basketball games on Christmas Day, The New York Times reports.
The ad is part of a campaign for Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organisation founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to match the National Rifle Association in terms of political influence, which lobbies for tighter gun laws.
They will feature some of the NBA’s biggest stars and will air on ABC and ESPN, with the league donating the airtime.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry opens the first spot — entitled “End Gun Violence” — saying: “I heard about a shooting involving a 3-year-old girl over the summer. My daughter Riley’s that age.”
The rest of the ad focuses on the victims of gun violence, including survivors of shootings and those who have lost children.
Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers also features. He says: “My parents used to say: ‘A bullet doesn’t have a name on it.'”
The New York Times suggests that the NBA’s partnership with Bloomberg’s organisation could prove controversial, particularly amongst fans that disagree with his politics and views on guns.
However, the NBA’s president of social responsibility and player programs Kathleen Behrens said: “We’re not worried about any political implications.”
The New York Times says the partnership was brokered by movie director Spike Lee, who first proposed the idea for the ads to ESPN president John Skipper, who took it to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Lee also recently collaborated with Everytown on an anti-gun violence protest march in New York following the release of his film “Chi-Raq,” which tackles gun violence issues.
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