Common Sense Media says it has asked the commissioners of
the NBA and NFL -- whose seasons are currently in full swing -- as well as top
TV sports programmers to temporarily pull promos for violent video games and
movies from broadcasts.
The group has periodically asked programmers not to air such
promos in sports broadcasts they argue are prime family viewing time, but the
latest request for a temporary standstill comes in the wake of the Newtown
"We've surfaced this issue a couple of times in the
past," says Crista Sumanik, communications manager for the group.
"Most recently [in 2009] we looked at the ads played in NFL games, re
violence and sexual content. Our impetus this time relates to the conversation
that is happening nationwide."
That conversation is about what, if any, responsibility
violent media has for the societal violence that erupts in tragedies like
Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Columbine.
"As you are aware, the sports and media industries have
tremendous influence when it comes to the messages and images that fans -- many
of whom are kids and families -- see during televised sporting events. In the
context of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn. -- and as policymakers in
Washington, D.C., decide what action needs to be taken to reduce the culture of
violence in the U.S. -- Common Sense Media has called on David Stern, Roger Goodell,
and the executives of Turner Sports, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and
ESPN to temporarily stop airing ads for violent video games and movies during
programming watched by millions of kids and their families."
An ESPN spokesperson said the company does not generally
comment on advertising, but added that "we have worked with our advertisers to respond appropriately" to the events in Newtown. A CBS spokesperson had no comment. Others had not
returned a request for comment at presstime.
A spokesperson for Common Sense said they had not gotten any
response at presstime.