With player after player in the NFL facing serious domestic violence allegations, the entire league is being put under scrutiny. Domestic abuse has gone on in American sports for decades, but lately, conversations about violence against women in particular have entered the mainstream with fervor. Now, it seems assault and battery cases are coming into the news weekly, forcing the general public, sports fans, and the NFL to take notice.
Earlier this month, the NFL faced major scrutiny when footage of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his fiancé out cold in an elevator surfaced. Now, the latest case under fire involves Adrian Peterson. Peterson didn’t beat a woman, but the Minnesota Vikings running back is now facing his second allegation of child abuse. He allegedly beat his 4-year-old son so severely that it left a scar on the boy’s forehead.
In light of these recent professional sports scandals, images supposedly created by journalist Adele Stan have gone viral all over twitter. The images are edits to the marketing campaign for CoverGirl’s football-inspired collection of game day looks “Get Your Game Face On.” The campaign was originally meant to encourage fans to make up their faces in their favorite team colors, but Photoshopped versions of the ads feature women with bruises and swollen black eyes.
Journalist Sil Lai Abrams notes that the CoverGirl ad has a double significance because “makeup is used to cover bruises from domestic violence.” CoverGirl finally responded to the request for comment from Huffington Post saying, “As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence.”
Because of the recent abuse allegations NFL players are facing, sponsors like CoverGirl continue to be criticized for their involvement. Many have pointed out that if the NFL supports a culture of violence against women, companies like CoverGirl should pull out to stand in solidarity with victims of domestic violence.