The National Basketball Association and some of its top players take aim at ending gun violence in a television campaign that will launch on Christmas.
In a partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, the anti-violence group founded and funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NBA on Friday will begin running a public service announcement during games broadcast on ABC and ESPN that urges a stop to gun violence, the league said on Wednesday.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls are among the stars whose lives have been touched by gun violence and who appear in the 30-second spot.
The segment ends with the basketball stars and others who lost loved ones to gun violence together saying, “In the United States, 88 people die of gun violence every day.”
Viewers are then urged to visit the website “Everytown.WeCanEndGunViolence.org.”
In the fast-paced segment, which never mentions the phrase “gun control,” each professional athlete makes a poignant remark about how gun violence has affected them.
Gun control is highly politically charged in the United States, where the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the right to bear arms.
Gun rights proponents argue that high rates of gun ownership can help deter violence by making criminals fearful of the consequences of their actions.
In the ad, Curry, the league’s 2014-15 most valuable player, said he heard about a three-year-old’s shooting, adding: “My daughter Riley’s that age.”
Anthony, who saw deadly toll of gun violence growing up in Baltimore and New York notes, “The gun should never be an option.”
The NBA said the deal between the major league and Everytown was brokered by director Spike Lee, whose latest film, “Chi-Raq,” looks at Chicago’s bloody gun crime.