Gatorade Under Fire For New Michael Jordan Commercial (Video)
On June 11, 1997, Michael Jordan turned in one of the greatest and most memorable athletic performances the history of modern pro sports. I am talking, of course, about Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, more commonly referred to as “the flu game.” Despite suffering from the nausea, aches, pains, and a 103 degree fever, Jordan somehow mustered the strength not just to compete, but to dominate. He finished with 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and, to top it all off, 1 blocked shot, leading the bulls to victory and a 3-2 series lead. Then, at the end of the game, he just collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms, giving us our most enduring image of this incredible performance.
Or maybe this was actually a dangerous act of sheer recklessness that taught millions of impressionable youngsters that it’s okay to engage in vigorous exercise while critically ill.
It kind of depends on whether you’re just a regular sports fan, or a billion dollar multinational corporation trying to sell beverages to kids.
Recently Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo—a fact which ought to make all “high performance” athletes suspicious—began running an ad in which it strongly implied that Michael Jordan was able to overcome the flu on that fateful night because he was drinking gatorade. Of course, the Gatorade probably did help. But you know what else probably helped? The fact that he was Michael Jordan.
Anyway, a legal research organization at Northeastern University called the The Public Health Advocacy Institute has a problem with the commercial and wants it pulled. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, they argue that “it is a generally recognized safety principle that teens and even professional athletes suffering from a severe fever and flu-like symptoms should not engage in vigorous physical activity.” The commercial in question, however, “openly promotes engaging in vigorous physical activity while suffering from a very high fever, in Jordan’s case 103 degrees.”
So what do you think? Does the commercial promote unhealthy activity, or does it celebrate one of the greatest moments in sports?
Hat Tip – [USA Today]