Daniel Defense Superbowl Commercial Controversy

The gunternet is ablaze with news of how “The NFL rejected Daniel Defense’s Superbowl commercial” which has of course sparked the usual suspects to call for a boycott of the NFL to show them…something. Here’s the actual commercial that DD submitted:

First things first, I really like Daniel Defense. Way back in the aughts, they were an early sponsor of Gun Nuts Radio, and I think their rifles are absolutely top notch. If you’re looking for an AR15 and you want quality out of the box, you won’t go wrong with a Daniel Defense. That being said, this isn’t a very good commercial. I have no idea what they’re trying to sell me until the last few seconds of the commercial, and the political messaging of “no one has the right to tell me how to defend my family” comes off as hackneyed and forced.

Now, here’s the part where I get hate mail: I don’t think Daniel Defense had any intention of this commercial being accepted by the NFL to be broadcast during the Superbowl. I think that this is actually a pretty cagey marketing strategy on their part. They make a commercial that they’re going to use in traditional broadcast venues, like the Outdoor Channel etc, and submit it to the NFL with no expectation of getting accepted. Then when the commercial is rejected, a simple FB post about how the NFL rejected their commercial and then just surf the wave of free publicity generated by internet hurt butts. I’m not saying that’s what they did, but in a way I kind of hope it was their plan all along, because I admire crafty marketing like that.

The other side of this coin are all the people saying we should boycott the NFL, which is generally predictable when this sort of thing happens. We are very fond of subjecting all facets of our life to purity tests, and for some reason our entertainment especially so. However, if I only consumed entertainment from groups/companies/actors/organizations that were fully supportive of my gun rights, then I’d be pretty bored most of the time.

There is actually a very interesting parallel in the gun community to the evangelical Christian community. When I was growing up, we were instructed to not listen to secular music, and to consume entertainment that was Christian or Christian-friendly. I can recall adults going to great lengths to justify certain mainstream movies as Christian-Friendly because said movie contained a generic good-vs-evil message that could, if you turned your head sideways and squinted a bunch, be construed as a Christian metaphor. In the gun community, we do pretty much the same thing a lot of the time, and it’s just as silly for us to do it as it is for the evangelical community to do it.

I’d like to think that Daniel Defense pulled off an incredibly cagey marketing stunt with this commercial, and if that is the case, than I doff my cap to them in respect of a masterful maneuver. For the people calling for a boycott of the NFL and the Superbowl, well I wish you good luck with that. Don’t force your purity tests on those of us who still enjoy sports and don’t particularly care about the NFL’s politics. We just want to watch football and be entertained.


  1. The NFL has been unfriendly to guns for a long time. If you haven’t noticed by now, your calls for a boycott ring pretty hollow to me. Why is it when something can be easily known and people don’t act on it and wait until they can join a cause to then get all up in arms about the thing that’s been going on for 50 years?

    1. Considering how mature and responsible your average pro-footballer is, I can’t really blame the NFL all that much.

  2. “. . . your calls for a boycott ring pretty hollow to me.”

    You is this “your” you are addressing? Because it wasn;t Caleb, for certain. . .

  3. Considering the rants Costas has performed live during games, I have all kinds of reasons to tell the NFL I have better things to do then to waste my weekend watching the National Thug League.

  4. I’ll boycott the NFL. (In much the same way I boycott vegan restaurants, skydiving clubs, and Men’s Wearhouse.)

  5. A well written piece sir. I understand your basis of thought. I ask simply however, If not you- then who? I agree we don’t need a purist backed boycot. I do believe in some things worth standing up for. Its why I wore a uniform with my Countries flag on my shoulder. Its why I tell my child to speak up. Not yell or insight itrational emotional based rhetoric but voice your belief and opinion substantiated by how you carry yourself. This is a subject matter that needs serious attention. Our Nation sends light and heavy guns to questionable groups in other countries. No background checks there?? Gun owners are villianized daily in the press yet violent movies and video games produce ridiculous amounts of money with no moral or ethical basis for the blood shed. Read excerpts from Col. Grossman on these issues should you disagree. Our great country was built and is maintained by the necessity of two things in my opinion. 1- good people ready and willing. 2- a firearm. As long as we have good people deployed on out behalf I would gladly not watch a childs game for one day. Now I hope we all watch that day and all the other sports entetainment shows both here and on AFN. I would also like to see Danel Defense and any other Firearm manufactures commercials as well, during those shows to give an opportunity to many who only hear one side of this issue. Thank you for your time.

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