DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The recent murder case of Botham Jean, whose death grabbed the attention of many across the world, now has a spotlight again as the National Football League has featured him and his family in a new ad that was released Wednesday.
Jean was shot and killed by then-Dallas officer Amber Guyger while he was inside his own apartment in September 2018. She maintains that she thought she was walking to her apartment and that Jean was an intruder.
Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2019 during a trial seen around the world.
When Jean was killed, it was also around the time that NFL players were taking stands against the league and accusing it of being tone deaf to the police brutality of black people and other civil rights issues.
Now, the league is spotlighting Jean’s story and the foundation in his name in effort to promote change.
— NFL (@NFL) January 22, 2020
The video, which was tweeted by the NFL Wednesday morning, will be shown on Super Bowl Sunday on Jan. 2. The timing of when it will air is not known.
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt applauded the NFL for devoting two minutes of expensive airtime to shine a light on minority victims of police brutality and excessive force.
“This represents at best a compromise between the NFL and people like me,” Merritt said.
“It comes at a price tag of about $1 million every 30 seconds. This is a two-minute PSA. It shows a real commitment,” he added.
It’s a commitment that started in 2019 when the NFL pledged to bridge the growing gap between the league and its black players and fans that started with kneeling protests during the National Anthem before games.
“The NFL is doing something that they are comfortable with,” Merritt said.
Merritt believes the video and others that follow will allow the NFL to control the message sent to fans. The ad promotes the Botham Jean Foundation and shares a message of forgiveness by showing the hug between Jean’s brother, Brandt, and Guyger inside the courtroom after the murder trial.
“I have to say that I was one of the people off put by that action but in retrospect, especially after burying the mother of Atatiana Jefferson just a week ago, that anger kills people. It’s not good for the movement,” Merritt said.