Dr. Oz is featured in a recently released National Football League advertisement promoting the game that in recent years has increasingly been criticized by health professionals for the many head traumas associated with it.
In the 30-second clip, which is part of the NFL's "Together We Make Football" ad
campaign, we see Dr. Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and television personality whose daily syndicated show reportedly receives some 4 million viewers daily, recount the time he first saw his son make a tackle in a high school football game.
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"When my son Oliver told us he wanted to play football, we were thrilled," Dr. Oz says on-screen. "It was a rite of passage. ... The game started, and sure enough he tackled this kid. My jaw dropped and then the loudspeaker said, 'Tackle, Oliver Oz.' That I think is a memory he'll never forget. Certainly his father won't."
The 30-second spot drew immediate criticism from Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, who accused Dr. Oz
of "shamelessly shilling for the NFL."
"Medical experts realized long ago that there's no point in guessing how low Dr. Mehmet Oz will sink in pushing patent cures, fad diets and unproven health "miracles" on his Oprah-produced TV show," Hiltzik wrote in his column.
"But his appearance this weekend in an NFL promotional campaign looks like some sort of a milestone," Hiltzik added.
Hiltzik charged that Dr. Oz, through his appearance in the TV spot aired during Sunday's Denver Broncos-Washington Redskins game, overlooked the frequent concussions suffered by players despite being regarded by many as one of America's foremost medical experts.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist also pointed out that Dr. Oz's endorsement of the sport also overlooked the recent $765 million settlement that resolved the lawsuit from numerous former players who claimed their careers on the grid iron left them with memory loss, Alzheimer's and other neurological conditions.
And why would Dr. Oz not address the health concerns associated with football?
A spokesman for Dr. Oz reportedly acknowledged to the publication that the NFL had made a small contribution to one of the doctor's charities and been invited to attend the Super Bowl by the league. The spokesman added that no "monetary compensation" was given to Dr. Oz for his appearance in the TV spot.
Further, the spokesperson said that Dr. Oz did not feel a cautionary disclaimer was necessary in the ad considering the ad's purpose was "to raise the issue that we have risks and benefits from playing contact sports."
There is however no mention of "risks" associated with the game mentioned in the NFL ad in question.
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