DENVER -- A firestorm of criticism has surrounded the NFL over the last week.
It all started with the video showing former Ravens' running back Ray Rice knocking out his then fiancee in an elevator.
In the week since that video was released by TMZ, the NFL has been under fire for how it handled the investigation and situations involving several other players. Now an image of a model that’s been "photo-shopped" with a black eye, is making more shock waves online.
The league has been recruiting female fans for years with Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, pink for breast cancer awareness month and even sponsorships like Cover Girl.
Cover Girl’s new campaign is called “Get Your Game Face On.” These ads are now seen in a whole new light after a mock-up version of the ad went viral. But does the image get across the right message? Female fans seem to be split on the issue.
"I think it's important to make people more aware,” said Kristina Kirby. Her friend Leisa Krull added, "It's not football, it's life."
But Rebecca Tate said, "We're not actually looking at the issue, we're just looking at the sensationalism of it."
Amy Miller is the Executive Director with the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She said while it’s good to continue the conversation, we have to focus on the right things. "An image of that nature promotes the stereotype or the misunderstanding of domestic violence, that it's an issue of physical violence." Miller added, "Physical violence is just one tactic an abuser uses."
One of those things is changing our culture, she said, along with getting men involved. "To try to redefine masculinity and educate around these issues and promote healthy relationship behavior." She said she is encouraged to see NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell add four key women to help the league develop policies regarding domestic violence and sexual assault.
Tate said, “It's never too late to highlight these things and see what's going on, but I think this is a giant PR stunt."
In the meantime, this issue is clearly not going away anytime soon. In fact, Vice President Joe Biden will be in Denver on Friday for an event on domestic violence. This month happens to be the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.
If you’re experiencing domestic violence or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.