The new ad has become a topic for discussion around the Super Bowl.
“I think anytime you talk about domestic violence it is going to have a meaningful effect, you want to eliminate that as part of society,” Sherman said.
Seattle linebacker Heath Farwell said the ad is key to better communication.
“Guys realizing this (is) an issue, and you know it’s not just football, it’s across this county, these are the issues we have to address and to get better at,” Farwell said.
Domestic violence has been a critical issue for the NFL for nearly a year since Ray Rice was arrested Feb. 15 over an altercation at an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino. The Baltimore running back initially was suspended two games, then indefinitely after video from inside an elevator surfaced showing him hitting his now wife, Janay.
An arbitrator threw out the indefinite suspension in December. He was released by the Ravens and has not signed with another team.
NFL players have been featured in ads from No More since October airing weekly.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said New England supports the league’s efforts against domestic violence. Belichick said it has been a priority for New England owner Robert Kraft since he was hired. The Patriots gave up their draft rights to defensive tackle Christian Peter a week after taking him in the fifth round in 1996 because of questions about his history with women
“So it’s always been that way for us, for our organization, and obviously we support everything in that area,” Belichick said. “But what the league decides to do relative to things like that, you know, it’s not really my pay grade.”
American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, daughter of former NFL player Phillippi Sparks, said what the NFL has gone through with domestic violence has helped publicize where women can call for help or find a safe haven. Sparks said it’s great that people aren’t being silent about domestic violence anymore.
“So it’s unfortunate all the way around for whomever is involved in those sorts of things and for the teams having to deal with the media and all of those different things,” Sparks said. “But at the same time for other domestic violence victims to know they can speak up that’s all that’s important, that’s all that matters.”
In the ad, the 911 call is a reenactment inspired by true stories of women using the tactic of disguising their calls while reaching out for help. No actors are seen in the stark ad; video shows only a house where a hole has been smashed in a wall, with books and photos knocked to the floor.
The ad concludes with the phrase: “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.” It had already more than 482,000 views on YouTube by Wednesday.
The ad will air Sunday just after the second quarter between Seattle and New England. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said it can only help by bringing more attention to the issue.
No celebrities or NFL players facing the camera, saying “No more.” This ad simply depicts a 911 call of a woman pretending to order a pizza while calling police with her attacker still in the house.
The Super Bowl commercial by No More, the group trying to end domestic violence and sexual assault, is a stark contrast to ads in recent months bringing attention to the issue that has become central for the NFL since Ray Rice was suspended for punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.