Why Would The NFL Force Toyota To Pull An Ad About Protecting Players From Concussions?

from the does-not-compute dept

Copycense points us to the news that the NFL apparently freaked out and pressured Toyota to edit a TV ad it was running during football games — a move many people noted was “unusual.” Apparently, the ad discusses how Toyota is using some of their research and technology in car safety for other fields — such as helping to prevent concussions for football players. You can see the ad here, with the “offending” part at around 17 seconds:

I’m trying to figure out what the NFL was upset about. Here’s a story of how efforts are being made to make the game even safer. That seems like a good thing — the kind of thing that the NFL should be celebrating. Does it think that, if it hides the image of helmets colliding, people will magically think people don’t get hurt playing football? And, of course, in pressuring Toyota to remove this commercial, all its done is draw a lot more attention to it. Toyota’s response was apparently not to remove the ad entirely, but to just edit out that helmet-to-helmet crash. Well, phew, now football feels safe again, right?

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Companies: nfl, toyota

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Comments on “Why Would The NFL Force Toyota To Pull An Ad About Protecting Players From Concussions?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The NFL is very much aware that they have an issue with concussions. They have taken steps this year to reduce them, mostly be enforcing rules to punish those who use “helmet to helmet” tackling methods.

What I suspect the NFL objects to is Toyota trying to paint their brand as “good” on the backs of people who have been injured, and on the back of the NFL as a whole. It’s that whole “don’t shit where you eat” thing. If Toyota wants to crap on the NFL, even indirectly, they should do it somewhere else.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

Typical NFL response

This is the NFL’s standard head-in-the-sand approach. It’s the same mentality they take about helmets. Even though there are a few helmets that are clinically proven to be better at reducing the risk of concussions, the NFL won’t endorse or encourage their players to wear these safer helmets for fear that they’ll be sued if/when a player wearing one sustains a concussion.

Anonymous Coward says:


“What I suspect the NFL objects to is Toyota trying to paint their brand as “good” on the backs of people who have been injured, and on the back of the NFL as a whole”


So, let me get this straight:

Some guy discovers the cure for the common cold and he announces:

“People of the world! I have discovered the cure for the common cold!”


“People of the world! I am working on a cure for the common cold!”

And soon enough he’ll have angry mobs attacking him for trying to make himself look “good” at the expense of the people that are suffering of the common cold.

Is that it?

And this is reasonable how?

fogbugzd (profile) says:

NFL Concussion Injury coverup contiues.

The brains of most top executives are not wired to think like this. For the last generation the have let the lawyers and accountants run their businesses for them. The corporate instinct is now to try to control everything and maximize quarterly profits. Concepts like forward thinking, common sense, and civic responsibility have been bred out of the modern boardroom. Twenty years ago this problem would have been turned over to the Public Relations department and let them try to spin it to a positive angle. Now the instinct is to kill the messenger.

Benny6Toes (profile) says:

Typical NFL response

I can so no way in which this has anything to do with a fear of lawsuits from players. The NFL already mandates that its players wear protective gear, and its understood that it will not prevent injury. It will certainly lessen the possibility of injury, but nobody thinks it will prevent it entirely. The same goes for helmets, and if it didn’t, then we’d have already seen hundreds of lawsuits by players (more likely the NFLPA) against the NFL.

No, this is the NFL trying to save face with the public because of the abysmal response and whitewashing of the concussion problem. The NFL could simply mandate the type of helmet players use as part of standard equipment, but they haven’t and probably won’t. And this is why they freaked.

Tod C says:

You missed the article

There was an article that explained that the NFL asked them to edit out the helmet to helmet contact, not to drop the entire commercial. Recent research shows even padded helmet to helmet contact is very bad long term, and the NFL is trying to discourage it, and didn’t want any suggestions that it was “safe” because of a helmet.

DJ (profile) says:


It’s also a reasonable point that the more protective gear people wear, the more risks they are willing to take. I don’t have any data about footbal injuries in, say, the ’40s, but I’m willing to bet they were at least different from what we see now; if not less severe.

One thing I do know is that Rugby has sacred few injuries beyond the superficial, and they wear NO protective gear.

Just sayin….

DJ (profile) says:


Apparently you weren’t paying attention to ACTUAL news so I’ll sum it up for you:

1)British Petrolem (BP) applied to the state of Louisiana to drill in shallow water.
2)Louisiana approved BP’s request
3)OBAMA said “No you have to go drill in excessively deep water where no one else is drilling” (paraphrase)
4)BP’s rig exploded
5)massive amounts of oil leaked (not spilled) into the GoM.

Toyota didn’t play a part in that; unless you count that they make devices powered by petroleum products

Berenerd (profile) says:


Actually…just before the oil spill Toyota was facing serious inquiries about how their safety for their cars were falling through the 7th level of hell. how they had been cutting corners. how they tried to cover up an issue with the accelerators on their cars. Then BP hit and Toyota was no longer in the lime light.
As for the BP stuff, Yes Louisiana approved the spot however BP miscalculated where the spot was. it moved. it was no longer up to Louisiana and it was up to the Federal government (The approval for the deep water drilling was before Obama’s time) BP cut corners as did the people they worked with to start drilling. They continued on and pushed in the sake of greed. Now we have extra dark fish oil.

We are only human. We make mistakes. Some get caught, some don’t. All I know is, when I take Colace(powerful laxative), my poop stinks.

Fred says:


People are slowly warming to the idea that contact sports – particularly for young growing youth – is simply stupid. These athletes are basically doing brain damage to themselves as they keep pounding their heads into brick walls. A broken bone is one thing – but if Football becomes the sport of brain damage, then it will probably go the way of boxing.

Anonymous Coward says:

The fact is that helmet to helmet contact while in fact is dangerous, isn’t the only long term major damage that happens to the brain. The low impact contact to the head that takes place on ever block that lineman make causes the same, long term damage.

This isn’t limited to football either, studies have shown that soccer players that head the ball a lot also suffer brain damage.

One big hit can hurt the brain, but all the little hits can add up to the same damage.

Will football ever be banned? I doubt it, but it is something to consider.

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