Cleveland Cavaliers Issue Apology for Commercial Mocking Domestic Abuse

"While the video was not intended to be offensive, it was a mistake to include content that made light of domestic violence."

The Cleveland Cavaliers have issued an apology after airing a playoff video that showed a woman being thrown to the ground by her boyfriend because she wore a shirt for an opposing team.

The video was shown during Wednesday night's game, and while it was removed from Vimeo after viewers expressed outrage, basketball writer Steve McPherson posted a copy of it. In the skit, a Cavs fan catches his girlfriend in a Dirty Dancing move, but throws her down when he realizes she's wearing a Chicago Bulls shirt. She writhes in pain on the ground and is later shown in a Cavs shirt, while holding ice to her head, promising that she is now "all in" as a Cavs fan.

The Cavaliers issued an apology on the NBA's website:

During a timeout at last night’s Cavaliers vs. Bulls playoff game at The Q in Cleveland, we ran a 1-minute in-arena video that was intended to be a humorous spoof on a popular commercial centered on a song and dance from the classic movie ‘Dirty Dancing.’ While the video was not intended to be offensive, it was a mistake to include content that made light of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a very serious matter and has no place in a parody video that plays in an entertainment venue. We sincerely apologize to those who have been affected by domestic violence for the obvious negative feelings caused by being exposed to this insensitive video.

The Cavaliers organization has a strong and lengthy track record of supporting domestic violence-related causes and efforts. We will continue to proudly work with our regional partners at the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center in support of their numerous programs to end domestic violence in our country once and for all.

The video was apparently an attempt at parodying a United Healthcare ad, in which a woman is accidentally dropped. However, the difference in messaging is clear.

comments powered by Disqus