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Volume 27 No. 5
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NFL's Latest "Inspire Change" PSA Drawing Polarizing Reactions

The "attention-getting PSA" that the NFL debuted on Sunday, which focused on the police shooting death of former NFLer Anquan Boldin's cousin, has brought "swift and incredibly split" reactions, according to NBC's Sam Brock. The minute-long spot is part of the "Inspire Change" campaign that addresses a "host of issues affecting disadvantaged and largely minority populations." The NFL in a statement said the PSA is a "signature spot we hope will really bring clarity to what social justice is and how committed NFL players are to these issues." Boldin, who is featured in the PSA, said, "I do applaud the NFL for taking a stand and listening to the players and trying to address it." Brock notes the NFL now is "trying to advance the ball on a delicate topic." NBC's Craig Melvin said despite the NFL perhaps not having "done the right thing in the past," the league now is "putting its money where its mouth is." The NFL has spent $25M on the initiative to date, and is "going to be spending more" ("Today," NBC, 1/21). 

TWITTER REAX: The S.F. Chronicle's Ann Killion tweeted, "Interesting that @Kaepernick7's former teammate @AnquanBoldin is starring in the league's social justice PSA. But the man who started the movement remains invisible to the league." The Nation's Dave Zirin: "Having these commercials about the NFL and police brutality, without a shot of Kaepernick taking a knee is National Archives level erasure. ... This is erasure by a billion dollar corporation that doesn’t hire Black coaches or front office executives." USA Today's Nancy Armour: "Powerful, powerful ad with @AnquanBoldin talking about his cousin being killed by a police officer." AP's Larry Lage: "@AnquanBoldin that commercial with @NFL is tremendous." Zicklin School of Business professor Marc Edelman: "Kudos to @NFLonFOX for airing the halftime commercial featuring Anquan Boldin."