I’m a Ravens fan who never really paid attention to the NFL’s propaganda, though I did notice that prior to this Ray Rice fiasco, the league had been marketing heavily to women.
Women make up 45% of the NFL’s viewership and as a thank you, the league partnered with your favorite fashion mag, Vogue, to debut a NFL women’s apparel line. Four days later, TMZ released the video of Ray Rice knocking his wife (then, fiancée), Janay, unconscious and half-heartedly dragging her out of the elevator.
The NFL in February suspended the former Ravens running back for two games surrounding inconclusive video of Rice dragging Janay out of the elevator. After the extended video was released, Rice was suspended indefinitely from the NFL, dropped from the Ravens, kicked off of Madden videogames, and his jersey taken out of sports shops around the country.
This is not another critique of the NFL’s handling of Ray Rice and the larger issue of domestic violence in the league and in our society, I promise. But, of course, the league has yet another PR disaster on its hands.
Enter CoverGirl. The makeup mega-brand partnered with the NFL last year to create “Fanicures,” nail art dedicated to different NFL teams. This year, CoverGirl and the NFL took it a step further and created “official team makeup looks,” which, on their own, are completely harmless. We even had something of our own version for the Eagles. Then came the Ravens makeup look — which, by the way, I would never sport — and chaos ensued.
The orignial CoverGirl post looked like the image to the left of this tweet:
— GLAM.COM (@glam_com) September 3, 2014
In a picture someone Photoshop-doctored, next to the text “Get Your GAME FACE ON,” is a model with purple eye shadow and a black eye. CoverGirl isn't responsible for this altered image.
— Yew Just Jealous (@YewJustJealous) September 14, 2014
Also paired with the hashtag #GoodellMustGo, the CoverGirl domestic violence spoof literally shut the CoverGirl website down, temporarily. It doesn’t exist right now. While the post was used to target NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, using Photoshop to doctor an image of an unconsenting, unrelated model may nullify the post's honorable intentions.
Either way, in the age of the Internet activism, it looks like the NFL won’t be able to dab up this major mistake with a shirt from their womenswear collection.