'Thursday Night Football' Takes On Domestic Violence for Second Week

AP Images
Ray Rice

Ads running during the broadcast included spots for U2's new album and Fox Searchlight's 'The Drop'

For the second week in a row, Thursday Night Football addressed domestic violence during its broadcast.

CBS Sports' Bill Cowher said he thought most in the NFL were upset by the damage recent domestic violence scandals were inflicting on the league's image, while Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith condemned domestic violence in a prerecorded interview broadcast during the pregame show.

"You don't have to tell a man he shouldn't hit a woman," Smith told CBS' James Brown. "When you're dealing with your children, what's more precious than our kids?"

Unlike last week, the pregame show didn't dedicate its entire broadcast to the issue of domestic violence, instead spending about 15 minutes on the subject

Ahead of the game, several high-profile advertisers — including  Bud Light maker Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo — expressed concern with the NFL's handling of the scandals. Meanwhile, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam wrote in a LinkedIn post that the focus should be put on domestic violence, not the NFL.

Verizon ads ran during the broadcast, as did spots for Fox Searchlight's The Drop, Universal's A Walk Among the TombstonesU2's iTunes album Songs of Innocence, Corona, Wendy's, Dunkin' Donuts, Hyundai, Nationwide insurance, Mazda and Audi. 

According to Thursday Night Football's pregame show, Procter & Gamble informed players it was pulling a Crest toothpaste breast cancer awareness initiative that would have seen players wearing pink mouthguards.

The NFL has been rocked by three high-profile cases of domestic violence over the past two weeks. Former Ravens running back Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended from the NFL last week after video surfaced of him knocking out his then-fiancee. Meanwhile, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is being investigated for suspected child abuse, and Arizona Cardinals' running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested for domestic violence Wednesday.

The broadcast comes one week after Thursday Night Football cut a Rihanna song from its opener, a move that has drawn criticism from the singer, who says the NFL is punishing her for being a victim of domestic violence.

Thursday's game saw the Buccaneers play the Atlanta Falcons.