Sports Illustrated to run provocative domestic violence ad ahead of Super Bowl

After initially rejecting the ad, which features a call for Goodell's resignation, SI is stepping up

Published January 26, 2015 3:15PM (EST)

Roger Goodell    (AP)
Roger Goodell (AP)

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, Sports Illustrated has agreed to take a stand against the persistence of domestic violence in the NFL by running a provocative new ad by the advocacy group Ultraviolet. The group, which also spearheaded flyover protests calling for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's resignation in September, created the edgy campaign -- which features a uniformed football player tackling a woman -- for Sports Illustrated's website, but the magazine initially rejected it.

In a statement to the Huffington Post, however, SI announced that it has decided to reverse course:

"While this specific campaign had two components -- banner and flash -- only the banner ad was reviewed due to a minor technical glitch," said spokesman Scott Novak. "The banner ad we felt could be mistaken for our editorial stance. If there is going to be an opinion on the matter we prefer to let our writers and editors take ownership of those opinions."

In addition to graphic imagery referencing domestic violence, the ad campaign also cites the dozens and dozens of unaddressed cases of assault by NFL players and includes the hashtag #GoodellMustGo. Sports Illustrated's decision to host the campaign comes the same month that an independent report concluded Goodell and other NFL executives did not see footage of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée Janay Palmer unconscious in an elevator before it was released to the public, the incident that sparked initial calls for the commissioner's resignation.

Watch the ad below:

By Jenny Kutner

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