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NFL Pulls Advertisements From Ray Rice Articles

Are sponsors beginning to abandon the NFL over the ongoing Ray Rice disaster?
Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

For all of the bad publicity the NFL has received these last few weeks, it's never been clear how this would affect the only thing the NFL cares about: money. The League's most prized possessions, their sponsors, have remained ominously silent on the issue. That is, until now.

As of Thursday afternoon, all sponsored advertisements have been removed from articles relating to Ray Rice. Banner and sidebar ads for Head & Shoulders, Dodge, New Era, XBOX and Duracell litter and its subpages, with the exception of stories about Ray Rice. On those pages, the sponsored ads have been replaced with ads for NFL products such as NFL Game Rewind or NFL Audio Pass. (If you're still seeing sponsored ads on those pages, use Incognito/Safe mode in your browser.)


According to an anonymous source inside the NFL, the sponsors asked to have their ads be removed from pages associated with Ray Rice. Below are side-by-side comparisons of articles with Ray Rice stories on the left and other articles on the right. Even articles about Ray McDonald's domestic violence charges still display sponsorship ads.

VICE Sports reached out to the NFL and the various advertisers for comment. Via email, a Chrysler Group spokesperson denied having its ads pulled from articles: "Chrysler Group brands do advertise on and NFL network games and we have not asked for any of our advertising to be pulled." A spokeswoman for New Era said they hadn't pulled any ads "to my knowledge." We will update this post if we receive any further statements.