HomeSportsLightning Victims Organization Rips Drew Brees for ‘Disgusting’ Stunt

Lightning Victims Organization Rips Drew Brees for ‘Disgusting’ Stunt

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Drew Brees recently took part in a viral ad campaign by an online gambling site called PointsBet SportsBook. The campaign began Friday morning with an eerie leaked video showing Drew Brees filming a commercial. Brees had apparently traveled to South America to film a promotional video in a thunderstorm. The footage showed an abrupt lightning flash near Brees before the camera shuts off, though the odd video plus the strange behavior of the company had many deeming it merely a publicity stunt.

That’s exactly what it was.

Later, after news had broken that the whole thing was fake, the company posted a follow-up video starring Breeze, who gives his pitch for PointsBet SportsBook. Then, it what was meant to be comical, the future Hall of Famer is struck and fried by what is obviously computer-generated lightning.

The whole thing might’ve been fun and games for Brees and the betting book. However, many online—especially those who have been struck by lightning—took the campaign completely differently.

A major advocacy organization tore Drew Brees and the company to shreds. They called their stunt “inappropriate” and “disgusting.”

Before people confirmed the video was fake, many actually believed Brees had fallen victim to a lightning strike. However, that wasn’t the case. Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors International (LSESSI) made note of how this can damage real survivors.

The organization contains members in 13 countries and helps people impacted by lightning strikes and electric shock. The group released a statement explaining why they were unhappy.

Lightning Victims Organization Releases Statement on Drew Brees’ Commercial

“The recent Drew Brees lightning commercial is an inappropriate, disgusting method of promoting gambling or any TV commercial campaign,” a statement from LSESSI says.

“This is a deadly injury, and it is disappointing to see the continual ridicule of lightning and electrical injury survivors in comical light in which it is presented for commercial gain and profit.”

The organization reports it did not find any humor in the advertisement. They remarked that most survivors’ lives and the lives of their loves ones are changed forever.

“To poke fun at these folks and make this injury trivial is unacceptable,” they wrote. “And what example does it set for our children to learn?”

Then, the statement takes a personal tone. The author speaks about their personal experience as a survivor of lightning.

“As a survivor, this is very disturbing, the thoughtlessness on the part of the participants who are trying to profit from tragedy is remarkable,” they wrote. “Much progress through hard work and education has been made over the last twenty years to lower the lightning/electrical deaths and risk of injury through education and informed knowledge of the dangers.”

The organization then claimed that Drew Brees’ commercial “just set us back 20 years.”

“There are many groups working to educate the public and help survivors, this commercial nullifies all their work and encourages unsafe practices to the general public. And all for gambling … Lightning Bets? How ignorant can you possibly be?”

However, for his part, Drew Brees has yet to address backlash stemming from the PointsBet SportsBook commercial.