On Saturday, activist group UltraViolet shared a meme that featured a photoshopped image of a model advertising CoverGirl’s NFL makeup line so that she sported a startling black eye—and the image went viral. And that’s made things less than easy and breezy for CoverGirl, as well as for the NFL.
UltraViolet’s meme, which was a tweaked version of one created by writer Adele M. Stan, is part of the group’s ongoing campaign calling for the resignation of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over his handling of the Ray Rice domestic-abuse situation; UltraViolet has been using the hashtag #GoodellMustGo on Twitter. The photoshopped image may be shocking, but no more so than football star Rice knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator or the NFL allowing the Minnesota Vikings to reinstate another player, Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on September 12 on a child-injury charge for beating his 4-year-old son with a switch.
For CoverGirl, whose primary market is girls and women, to support an organization that protected a man who physically abused his wife by using the image of a woman decked out in eye makeup the color of his team, the Baltimore Ravens, is blindly dismissive of violence against women. CoverGirl should not forgive or forget so easily, and UltraViolet drives that point home with the photoshopped image.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the NFL has a violence problem. Violence against women, violence against children, and just violence, in general, has been overshadowing the game itself. While it is likely that the on-field brutality has been spilling into the personal lives of players for years, never before has the spotlight shone so brightly on these off-field atrocities as it does today.
We must put the onus on organizations like the NFL to be proactive in addressing abuse and punishing abusers because it’s the right thing to do—not just because failure to do so could potentially hurt reputations and revenue. Sad to say, Ray Rice was not released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended from the NFL because he beat his wife unconscious but because TMZ released the video of him doing so, triggering a nationwide scandal.