Everytown for Gun Safety has drawn out a new play in its efforts to influence the debate around gun violence, and it involves teaming up with the NBA for public service announcements scheduled to air on Christmas Day.
Director Spike Lee, who sits on the board of Everytown for Gun Safety, has directed a series of videos with the family members of victims as well as NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony and Stephen Curry. In probably one of the most compelling moments of the ads, Curry talks about hearing about the death of a three-year-old child who was roughly the same age as his own daughter.
We don’t know exactly how much was spent on the ads or exactly where they will run (we assume nationally and in most NBA markets), but according to the New York Daily News, Everytown (which is funded by Michael Bloomberg) paid for the ads.
Lee spoke to Sports Illustrated about the ads running during such a high-profile time period for the NBA.
It shows great courage to have these anti-gun violence spots run during Christmas Day,” Lee said. “It is a very bold, bold statement. So I got nothing but love for them. This is revolutionary that ESPN, ABC and the NBA and the players got together to show these spots about the epidemic. Ninety Americans die every day due to gun violence, and this spot is going to air on Christmas Day? What? All puns intended, that’s a strong move to the basket.
The ads really are a strong play for the anti-gun violence movement, which has struggled to find the dedicated voting block that the pro-gun movement maintains. While the pro-gun movement does spend more money on lobbying, its true power lies in the fact it has a strong following of dedicated voters willing to back up that political spending.