UPDATE: The Cavaliers have issued a statement in regards to the video, saying “it was a mistake to include content that made light of domestic violence…[it] is a very serious matter and has no place in a parody video. We sincerely apologize to those who have been affected by domestic violence.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ motto for the NBA Playoffs is “All In”, though a new video the team produced and played during Game 2 of their series against the Bulls has many claiming the organization went “Too Far”.
The video – played Wednesday night inside Quicken Loans Arena – was meant to be a parody of United Healthcare’s “Our Song” commercial, where a couple reenact a scene Dirty Dancing with disastrous results (they both end up crashing through a table). But in the Cavs’ version, as a man in a Cleveland T-shirt prepares to lift a woman in the air, he discover she’s actually a Bulls fan and unceremoniously tosses her to the ground.
He walks off in disgust, and the woman is seen lying on the ground, nursing various injuries. The spot concludes with the couple sitting on a couch, the woman holding an ice pack on her head.
“I thought you were ‘All In,'” the man says.
“Well, I’m ‘All In’ now,” she replies.
Not surprisingly, as soon as the video aired, some in attendance expressed their discomfort with its content, and the clip quickly began making the rounds on the Internet, though it’s not available on the Cavaliers’ YouTube channel or official site, and was reportedly pulled from sites like Vimeo this morning. Critics attacked it as “tone deaf,” which seems rather diplomatic – after all, a woman is thrown to the ground by her partner, then apologizes for offending him – and given how the issue of domestic violence has been brought to the forefront in the aftermath of Ray Rice and Greg Hardy‘s suspensions (or this past weekend’s Mayweather/Pacquiao fight), the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not to mention the fact that domestic violence isn’t the kind of thing that should be used as a comedic device.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 7, 2015
Told wife about awful Cavaliers video. Her response: That’s what happens when you don’t have women executives in an organization.
— Matt Steinmetz (@SteinmetzNBA) May 7, 2015
As of Thursday morning, the NBA has yet to respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment on the matter.