TO THE EDITOR:
The Carolina Athletics’ poster for Thursday’s football game, during which UNC will have black and blue jerseys, has a tagline of “Black and Blue Never Felt So Good.” While this slogan makes sense at face value because football is a physical sport, it can also be read as having a “racy” subtext of intimate partner violence.
Unfortunately, as the documentary series Killing Us Softly and the website The Gender Ads Project confirm, advertising frequently employs sexualized violence against women to grab attention. Domestic violence is a national epidemic, however, and shouldn’t be dealt with lightly; one in four women will be targeted in their lifetime.
This isn’t the first time a problematic ad has been used to promote football, either. In 2011 the Toronto Argonauts had an ad with the tagline “Home is where the heart is. It’s also where we hurt people.” Fortunately, the team pulled the ads after a public official wrote a letter explaining how the message could be difficult for survivors of domestic violence.
We hope that Carolina athletics realizes that its tagline of “Black and Blue Never Felt So Good” is also problematic. It suggests that violence, i.e. giving or receiving bruises, isn’t that bad, or worse, could be enjoyable.