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NBA to air anti-gun violence ads during Christmas Day games

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 11:29 AM

In a major score for gun control advocates, the NBA announced Wednesday that it is launching an ad campaign calling for an end to gun violence.

The first TV ads will highlight the plight of shooting victims and air during a series of high-profile games on Christmas Day.

They are paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control advocacy group created by former Mayor Bloomberg.

The organization is pushing for expanded background checks, tougher punishments for gun trafficking, and for a prohibition on gun sales to people convicted of domestic violence.

The ads will also include several star players talking about recent shootings.

In one, Stephen Curry, the star guard of the Golden State Warriors, details his reaction to a 3-year-old’s shooting.

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Chris Paul. Everytown for Gun Violence

Chris Paul.

Enlarge Stephen Curry. Everytown for Gun Violence

Stephen Curry.

Enlarge

Chris Paul (l.) and Stephan Curry join the celebrity roster of spokesmen for Everytown for Gun Safety.

“My daughter Riley’s that age,” he says in the video, posted Wednesday to YouTube.

Chris Paul, of the Los Angeles Clippers, also talks about gun violence.

“My parents used to say, ‘A bullet doesn’t have a name on it.’”

The ads do not detail specific gun control proposals and never mention the words “gun control.”

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Survivors of gun shootings and families of victims that died from gun violence speak out in a new video for Everytown for Gun Violence.Everytown for Gun Violence

Survivors of gun shootings and families of victims that died from gun violence speak out in a new video for Everytown for Gun Violence.

The NBA said its partnership with the gun control organization was a no brainer.

“We know far too many people who have been caught up in gun violence in this country,” Kathleen Behrens, the league’s president of social responsibility, told The New York Times. “And we can do something about it.”

The deal came together with the help of director Spike Lee, who is a member of Everytown’s creative council.

The “Chi-Raq” director initially suggested the idea to John Skipper, the president of ESPN. The television exec then brought the proposal to Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner.

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***BESTPIX***Andrew Burton

From left, filmmaker Spike Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton and Father Michael Pfleger lead a march through the streets of Manhattan calling for an end to gun violence on Dec. 1.

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“Ninety Americans are dying every day because of the NRA, gun manufacturers, and politicians willing to run you under the table,” Lee told the New York Times.

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said Lee “reached out to me” about taking part in the PSA.

“It was just easy for me because I’ve been kind of through those situations in dealing with the Baltimore stuff and going back down there and knowing how important that is, not just in Baltimore but throughout the country. So it was a no-brainer for me to do that.”

The partnership is not without its potential pitfalls.

Many teams play in Democratic cities where the majority of fans support tougher gun laws. But some are in areas that are staunchly against any changes and view Bloomberg with disdain.

rblau@nydailynews.com

Tags:
nba ,
media ,
gun violence ,
gun control ,
stephen curry ,
chris paul ,
spike lee ,
carmelo anthony
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