DALLAS - The NFL has unveiled a public service announcement that calls for change following the police shooting death of Botham Jean.
Jean was shot and killed by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in his apartment in 2018.
The new PSA is narrated by Jean’s family. It shows pictures of him growing as family members share memories of him being “destined for greatness.”
The video is part of a nationwide NFL campaign that will air in front of millions of people during the Super Bowl.
Representatives for the Jean family said that even though Jean's case was covered nationwide, this partnership with the NFL will show his story to an audience who may have never heard of him.
It shares a message about racial injustice, unity and forgiveness.
In a powerful and emotional video, Jean's family describes the vibrant young son and brother they lost when then-Dallas police officer Guyger said she mistook Jean's apartment for her own and believed he was an intruder.
“Botham was in his apartment, watching football, eating ice cream, and the officer came and killed him,” Jean’s family says in the video.
The two-minute spot is part of the NFL and Roc Nation's Responsibility Program and Inspire Change Initiative. It’s aimed at putting a spotlight on families affected by police brutality and promoting positive change.
"What I hope to see happening is that our black boys are not seen as a threat," his mom, Allison Jean, says in the video.
"The color of my skin can be perceived as a weapon, and it's not," adds his sister, Allisa Findley.
Botham Jean Foundation board member Lee Merritt said the short video gives a new audience a look into who Jean was, beyond the headlines.
“People who have never heard of Botham Jean and the details of his life and death will be exposed to it,” he explained.
But the NFL has had a complicated relationship with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement in recent years, passing a policy in 2018 that prevented players on the field from kneeling during the national anthem. It was an action players used to call attention to police brutality.
“We believe the NFL has made significant strides to right their wrongs,” Merritt added. “To take the conversation of brutality front and center on that platform is tremendous, and again, it's a compromise but it represents significant progress.”
Merritt said the Jean family has met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and will be attending the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 2 as the campaign is seen by millions of viewers.
“Botham Jean, I think because of how he lived his life and the principles that his family supports, will be an effective vehicle in communicating the true horrors of police brutality to people who would otherwise have a difficult time receiving that message,” Merritt said.
The family said what happened to Jean should not happen to another family. They believe things must be done quickly to spark change and they've created the Botham Jean Foundation to help influence that change.
The NFL said the video is designed to encourage people to respect one another.
The PSA ends with a message of change, and encourages people to continue the Jean’s work through the foundation in his name.
“There are things that must be done and must be done quickly. We must change this all around,” Jean’s family said in the PSA.
The Jean family is one of a few families from around the country highlighted in the campaign.
According to Merritt, other local families have been contacted by the NFL for a possible similar PSA, including the family of Atatiana Jefferson, who was killed by a Fort Worth police officer while inside her home last year.
“This was part of a deal brokered by Jay-Z through his company Roc Nation to allow for these issues to continue to be discussed on the national platform as well as to support the actual work being done on the ground to change the policing culture,” said Merritt.