If you’re tuning in to pro basketball this Christmas, you might find yourself watching an unlikely series of commercials.
“I heard about a shooting involving a 3-year-old girl over the summer. My daughter, Riley, is that age,” says Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry in one.
His anecdote is part of a series of emotive advertisements that aim to raise awareness about gun violence. It’s no coincidence that the ads are directed by Spike Lee, who recently released Chi-raq, about violence in Chicago, and who has vociferously spoken out against gun violence.
The campaign, End Gun Violence, is a partnership between the National Basketball Association and Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
The public service announcements will air on ABC and ESPN during five Christmas Day NBA matchups and will focus on shooting victims as well as their families. According to the New York Times, the words “gun control” aren’t mentioned during the ads, and there are no policy recommendations.
There are also powerful clips featuring NBA stars Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul recalls his parents’ words: “My parents used to always say, ‘A bullet doesn’t have a name on it.’”
With 88 Americans killed every day by gun violence, to say that this is a worthy cause is a gross understatement. And since the NBA’s Christmas games are traditionally reserved for high-profile matchups, there will be a large viewership, no doubt.
If you’re feeling the campaign’s spirit, join in: Tweet using #EndGunViolence this Christmas.