By Barry Janoff
February 9, 2013: Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization that includes mayors from more than 40 states, has unveiled a PSA featuring four Pro Football Hall of Fame players and a fifth who will soon be in the Hall, to support its quest to "help end the gun violence epidemic that kills 33 Americans every day."
The commercial stars Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson, whose collective careers in the NFL totaled more than 60 seasons.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns has stepped up its effort behind the umbrella theme, "Demand a Plan to End Gun Violence." The NFL-themed ad is a follow-up to a PSA that Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a week after the tragic events in Newtown, which included in the ad more than 50 actors and artists.
"Like most Americans, these football legends support sensible reforms that will help keep our children safe," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is the co-chairman for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said in a statement. "Common-sense proposals like background checks for all gun sales, removing military-style assault weapons from our streets and gun trafficking legislation are already in the red zone – it's time for Congress to take them over the goal line."
The five former NFL stars pick up on the strategy being supported by Mayors Against Illegal Guns: "More than 48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during the President's next term . . . Congress [needs] to take immediate action and pass sensible gun reforms that will help end the gun violence epidemic that kills 33 Americans every day."
Mayors Against Illegal Guns worked with Suzy Shuster, President of Hudson Productions, to create the PSA.
The 30-second PSA, filmed in black-and-white, opens with Deion Sanders asking, "How many more? How many more street corners?"
Marshall Faulk then asks, "How many more schools?"
"How many more movie theaters?" asks Emmitt Smith.
Michael Irvin inquires, "How many more half-time moments of silence?"
"Enough," stated Ladainian Tomlinson.
Full text is below. See the full PSA here.
"We are grateful that these sports heroes – who are also fathers, brothers and uncles – are choosing to speak out," Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and co-chairman for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said in a statement. "We need every voice to be heard to keep the pressure on Congress to pass legislation that will save American lives and make our neighborhoods safer."
In addition to the PSA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns is supporting the movement with a dedicated Web site and social media destinations including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The Mayors' group includes former NBA all-stars Mayor Kevin Johnson (Sacramento) and Mayor Dave Bing (Detroit); Mayor Edwin Lee (San Francisco), Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles), Mayor Vincent Gray (Washington, DC), Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Chicago), Mayor Michael Hancock (Denver), Mayor Tomas Regalado (Miami), Mayor Kasim Reed (Atlanta), May Mitchell Landrieu (New Orleans) and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore).
The organization includes mayors from cities in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, DC.
Full Text of Mayors Against Illegal Guns NFL-themed PSA:
DEION SANDERS: How many more? How many more street corners?
MARSHALL FAULK: How many more schools?
EMMITT SMITH: How many more movie theaters?
MICHAEL IRVIN: How many more half-time moments of silence?
LADAINIAN TOMLINSON: Enough.
EMMITT SMITH: For the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.
LADAINIAN TOMLINSON: Demand a plan.
DEION SANDERS: You can't win without a plan.
EMMITT SMITH: I chose the game.
MICHAEL IRVIN: I played the game.
DEION SANDERS: This — right here? — oh baby, this is not a game.
EMMITT SMITH: It's time.
MARSHALL FAULK: It's time for our leaders to do something.
MICHAEL IRVIN: Demand a plan. Right Now.
EMMITT SMITH: Right now.
DEION SANDERS: Now.
Marshall Faulk Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Colts Rams RB 1994-2005
Michael Irvin Hall of Fame Class of 2007 Dallas Cowboys WR 1988-99
Deion Sanders Hall of Fame Class of 2011 CB 1989-2005 Atlanta,, San Francisco, Dallas, Washingon, Baltimore
Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame Class of 2010 1990-2004 Dallas, Arizona
LaDainian Tomlinson RB 2001-2011 San Diego, New York Jets