Los Angeles (AFP) - As US sports leagues grapple with the problem of domestic violence in their ranks, the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers apologized Thursday for an in-game video that made light of the issue.
The video, which aired on the scoreboard during a timeout in Wednesday’s playoff win over Chicago, shows a man dressed as a Cleveland fan throwing his girlfriend to the ground when he discovers she's wearing a Bulls T-shirt.
"While the video was not intended to be offensive, it was a mistake to include content that made light of domestic violence," the Cavaliers said in a statement on Thursday after social media erupted with criticism.
"Domestic violence is a very serious matter and has no place in a parody video that plays in an entertainment venue," the team added.
"We sincerely apologize to those who have been affected by domestic violence for the obvious negative feelings caused by being exposed to this insensitive video."
The video was meant to spoof a current television commercial in which a couple falls while trying to carry out the famous lift from the film "Dirty Dancing."
In the Cavs' video, the man wearing a T-shirt bearing Cleveland's playoff rallying cry of "All In" begins dancing with his partner, but when she pulls off her apron to reveal a Bulls T-shirt, he tosses her over a sofa.
"Bulls fan? I didn't know you were a Bulls fan," he says, with a voiceover announcer adding: "When it's playoff basketball time, you have to be all in. Don't make the same mistake she made."
Later, the woman is shown holding an ice pack on her head, snuggled up with her man and saying she's seen the error of her ways.