Cleveland Cavaliers apologize for video making light of domestic violence

The Cleveland Cavaliers apologized after receiving backlash for a promotional video that was criticized for making light of domestic violence. (Cleveland Cavaliers)

The Cleveland Cavaliers issued an apology on Thursday for a promotional video showing a male Cavaliers fan throwing a female Bulls fan across the room after it was criticized for making light of domestic violence.

On Wednesday, an in-game video played during the Cavaliers-Bulls matchup at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The video featured a young couple, with a man wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers t-shirt grooving along with his partner in a parody of the final scene in Dirty Dancing. But the woman reveals she is wearing a Chicago Bulls shirt, and instead of the Cleveland fan lifting her like Patrick Swayze does with Jennifer Grey in the film, he throws the woman to the ground.

"Bulls fan? I didn't know you were a Bulls fan," the man says after throwing his partner in disgust. An announcer then says "When it's playoff basketball time, you have to be all-in. Don't make the same mistake she made." The couple then appears onscreen, with the woman holding an ice pack to her head. "Well, I'm all-in now," she says as a nod to the Cavaliers' playoff motto.

The video was quickly met with criticism, with many saying it made light of domestic violence.

On Thursday, the Cavaliers issued a statement apologizing for the video.

    During a timeout at last night's Cavaliers vs. Bulls playoff game at The Q in Cleveland, we ran a 1-minute in-arena video that was intended to be a humorous spoof on a popular commercial centered on a song and dance from the classic movie 'Dirty Dancing.' While the video was not intended to be offensive, it was a mistake to include content that made light of domestic violence.

    Domestic violence is a very serious matter and has no place in a parody video that plays in an entertainment venue. We sincerely apologize to those who have been affected by domestic violence for the obvious negative feelings caused by being exposed to this insensitive video.

    The Cavaliers organization has a strong and lengthy track record of supporting domestic violence-related causes and efforts. We will continue to proudly work with our regional partners at the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center in support of their numerous programs to end domestic violence in our country once and for all.
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