Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Video: The Spike Lee-Directed Gun Safety Ad That The NBA Will Air On Christmas

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

The NBA will air a new PSA on Christmas day calling for an end to gun violence.

The ad, which is directed by Spike Lee, features NBA stars speaking alongside victims or families of the victims of gun violence. It will debut on Friday, airing five times throughout the day when the league has five games nationally broadcast.

"I heard about a shooting involving a 3-year-old girl over the summer," says the Warriors' Stephen Curry, reigning league MVP, to open the ad. "My daughter Riley is that age." The Clippers' Chris Paul says, "My parents always said, 'A bullet doesn't have a name on it.'"

Support for LAist comes from

The PSA also features Stephen Barton, a survivor of the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was killed in the Isla Vista shooting.

And while the commercial itself doesn't call for any policy change or ever say the phrase "gun control," it'll likely be seen as a politically loaded move by the league in certain circles. The commercial comes out of a partnership with Everytown For Gun Safety, a nonprofit founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

According to the New York Times, the NBA and Bloomberg were brought together by Lee, who pitched the campaign. "I would really give all credit to Spike for being the catalyst of this," Everytown's Jason Rzepka told SBNation. Lee himself is coming off his controversial film Chi-Raq, which addresses the gun violence in Chicago's South Side.

"Because of the NRA, politicians and the gun manufacturers, we're dying under that tyranny," Lee told the New York Times.

"In the United States, 88 people died of gun violence last year every day," the voices of gun violence victims and the victims' families say in unison to close the ad.