With President Trump taking aim at the NFL and its players who protest during the national anthem, the league has broadcasted a message of unity.
The NFL dusted off a one-minute ad that it produced for the Super Bowl earlier this year. It was originally made to "demonstrate the power of football to bring people together," the league said. CNN learned exclusively that the ad would run before the game.
So the NFL ran the ad again on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" telecast on Sunday.
The decision was finalized on Sunday morning.
"We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about," an NFL spokesman told CNN. "It stands in stark contrast to some who practice the politics of division."
The idea is to take the high road -- avoiding any direct reference to Trump -- by airing an inspirational message.
Inside these lines, we can bring out the best in each other and live united. pic.twitter.com/nQpUrKFL4T— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2017
The ad was titled "Inside These Lines." It was created by the ad agency Translation for Super Bowl LI. Forest Whitaker was the narrator.
In the ad, Whitaker says:
"Inside these lines, we don't have to come from the same place to help each other reach the same destination.
Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there's more that unites us.
Inside these lines, it's a game of inches, and there's no such thing as an easy yard when you're fighting to move forward.
Inside these lines, we're not only defined by our victories, but by the way we handle our defeats.
Inside these lines, we can bring out the best in each other,
And live united--
Inside these lines."