The National Football League decided to extend its outreach to the Latino community in a way that drew riotous social media reactions. The league rolled out its second annual “Por la Cultura” campaign in time for Hispanic Heritage Month this week.
In its overt pandering attempt, the NFL added an accent mark over the “N” in its logo.
— Ian Bautista (@XicanoDeKCenMKE) September 15, 2022
The league said this action added a “unmistakable Latin flavor” to its campaign to recognize the month’s festivities.
In an online statement, the NFL said that it is proud to celebrate the month “by highlighting NFL players, coaches, and staff” along with partnering with Hispanic organizations. Its announcement included a picture of the NFL shield complete with the accent mark.
It is fundamental, the league said, to our “always-on, 365-day initiative.” It added that the electric brush stroke is filled “with an infectious personality” that carries through the rest of the shield.
This, however, did not find favor with most Twitter users, who took the multi-billion dollar NFL to task for its effort.
One tweet drew a comparison between the league’s paltry performance and a limited time Taco Bell item. Another user named Mariana said that she is going to add the accent mark to her name for the rest of the month to highlight her “unmistakable Latin flavor” and “infectious personality.”
Conservative commentator Matthew Foldi noted tweeted that at least the NFL did not use “Latinx” this year as it did in 2021.
SB Nation’s Alicia Rodroguez noted that the league literally spent seven seconds putting a clip art tilde onto the shield and added “I’m dying.”
Tyler Cass, an Arkansas sports reporter, tweeted that this is reminiscent of how corporations have PR budgets in the millions and still do not have a person on payroll who will look and say “yeah, they’re gonna roast you online for this.”
He’s right. It would not have taken an intelligent observer long to look at the clip art design and realize that there would be major online backlash for such a simplistic campaign. The NFL can and should do better than base and outright pandering.