NFL Play 60: Stay Off Our Bus!

The National Football League's Gambit to Commercialize School Children

According to the National Football League, NFL Play 60 is a campaign designed to tackle childhood obesity by encouraging healthy lifestyle habits through physical fitness and good nutrition. On the surface, this is a very positive massage. However, this message escaped our children when their school was awarded an NFL Play 60 fitness grant. Our children were excluded from the NFL’s presentation at their school’s celebration assembly simply because we refused to sign the NFL’s legal paperwork which would yield to the NFL unrestricted rights to use photographic and video images of our children for promotional materials.

So let’s start with this question for you. How are these two items related?

  1. You choose not to promote a business.
  2. The removal of your child from their classroom.

At first glance, we would suspect the first question you may raise is not how these two items are related, but why they are related at all. Yet, they are related. To put this in other words, the primary questions we are asking the reader to consider are these:

  1. Is it acceptable to segregate students in a public school based solely upon the parent’s refusal to allow their children to be used in promotional materials for a private enterprise?
  2. What educational purpose is served by having commercial cameras inside a public school during regular class hours?

Our goal is twofold: (1) to give the reader some perspective of what is happening behind the scenes, and (2) to keep our public school students free from commercial exploitation. A door has been opened that we feel needs to be closed. Commercial cameras and fundraising activities simply have no place within our public schools, at least not during regular class hours.

While the National Football League contends that NFL Play 60 is a charity, we contend that it is a cleverly designed advertising campaign that uses children to promote the NFL. We are not contesting the merits of the NFL Play 60 message. However, we feel deeply offended by the implementation of this program and the disrespect shown by the NFL and the Snohomish School District towards our children.

Let’s take a closer look …

The brief version is a very condensed summary of the issues. While I recommend starting with the editorial version, this brief should satisfy those individuals who want the issues covered as quickly as possible. However, in doing so, some issues will not be covered at all.

The editorial version will provide an overview of what happened and the issues involved. It's the recommended place to start.

The extended version will provide a more complete picture of what occurred, our arguments and opinions, along with references to relevant materials.

The relatively new article, Is This What It Means To Be A Seahawks Fan? is not only directed at Seattle Seahawks fans, but all NFL fans. It provides a condensed version of what happened and some of the steps we have taken over the years in pursuit of corrective action. It is also an appeal directly to fans for corrective action and provides some suggestions as to how they may be able to help should they feel inclined to do so.

Based upon the principles of fairness and equal opportunity - especially when one considers that we have paid more than twice the amount to the Snohomish School District in the form of taxes than the National Football League provided with their health and fitness grant - we demand that the school district allow us to display our own banner in a similar location and for the same duration as the one displayed for the NFL. That banner will read:

Integrity: The human qualities demonstrated by a consistent commitment to moral and ethical principles, including honesty and fairness. Those values and the education of a small group of Cathcart students were sacrificed when school administrators and teachers acted in the interests of the Seattle Seahawks and National Football League instead of all of their students. This banner serves as a reminder that those values should never be sacrificed.

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