After it was roundly criticized this summer for handing down a pretty lenient punishment for a star player who had been charged with domestic violence, the NFL wasn’t too eager to have an advertisement from “Slap Ya Mama” plastered on the field of one of its broadcasts.
So the league told Cox Sports Television to yank the ad from the Louisiana-based Cajun food company.
CST had run the ad, which featured the “Slap Ya Mama” logo blanketed electronically on the field, during preseason games for the New Orleans Saints before receiving a letter from the NFL instructing it to stop “in light of domestic violence issues.”
Those “issues” likely stem from the controversy surrounding Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was indicted during the offseason for aggravated assault after striking his then-fiancee. Rice was caught on security cameras dragging the unconscious woman who is now his wife out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino.
Rice was dealt a mere two-game suspension by the league, much less severe than punishments given to other players for drug and alcohol-related offenses. Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater, for example, was suspended for four games this week for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, a violation that resulted from the player’s use of alcohol.
Walker & Sons, Inc., the parent company of Slap Ya Mama, criticized the league’s decision, which will take effect during CST’s broadcast of the Saints’ final preseason game on Thursday.
“People who know our brand ‘get it’ but all of a sudden, after three years, the NFL doesn’t. Maybe they just don’t understand our culture. What a shame!” company vice president Jack D. Walker said in a statement, as quoted by the Times-Picayune.
The company indicated that the NFL might also have a problem with the way those particular ads function. The Times-Picayune reported that Walker & Sons had previously been asked by the league to end so-called “virtual signage,” wherein an electronic ad is displayed on the field of play during the broadcast.