Ever since I was a child, I have loved watching NBA games. While there is nothing like attending a live game, watching games on TV is also a great experience.
Over the years I have enjoyed listening to announcers like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Bill Walton, Reggie Miller, and Stacey King. They breakdown the game with expertise and lively banter, really adding to the enjoyment experience.
Now, though, something is negatively impacting televised NBA games. It seems you cannot get through a single commercial break without an annoying ad for sports betting houses. In the most annoying and egregious ads, a former pro athlete (Drew Brees) encourages viewers to ‘live your bet life’.
What the hell is a “bet life”? The very term seeks to normalize betting. The message is that betting is a natural part of life and if you aren’t betting on sports games, you aren’t living your life to the fullest potential.
I think this is absolutely criminal. I just want to watch my favorite athletes compete. I want to watch the beauty of the game. I don’t want to be annoyed with demands that I live my “bet life.” I don’t have a bet life. I don’t gamble and the ads saying I’m not living up to my life’s potential if I don’t bet are uncalled for. A less intelligent person might think they really are missing out and should be losing as much money as possible betting on games.
It used to be that television and radio were littered with cigarette ads. The ads romanticized smoking, making it glamourous. However, Congress realized this was not in the best interest of our country. In April 1970, President Richard Nixon signed legislature banning all cigarette ads from radio and television.
Gambling is just as addictive as cigarettes and alcohol. I think rather than normalize it, we should protect our youth from advertisements that promote such a vice.
I have no intention of ever living a “bet life”, but not everyone is as strong in their convictions. It is, indeed, these innocents that betting houses are trying to convert into lifelong gamblers.
Should President Joe Biden take action? Should he initiate legislature to ban such ads from television?
Perhaps he should, but I don’t anticipate it happening during this term. The fact is that there are a lot of people addicted to gambling who would be upset to have these “bet life” ads targeted. And, betting is big business. The companies raking in the bucks from all the online gamblers are not going to go away quietly.
I don’t see the ads for living your “bet life” going away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.
Do we really need another vice contaminating the airwaves when all we want to do is watch a game of basketball?
Peace. Love. Trust.
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