Did you notice a commercial during Thanksgiving's NFL football games featuring President Barack Obama?

Joined by children from the Washington, D.C. area, the President and players come together for a friendly game of touch football, reminding fans about the importance of being active as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league's youth health and fitness campaign. Filmed on the White House lawn earlier this month by NFL Films, the PSA also encourages viewers to get involved in their communities and remember the importance of service. 

Such was a collaboration between NFL Play 60, an effort to fight child obesity, and United We Serve, the President's initiative to encourage community service.

The NFL issued a press release about this last week (video of ad embedded below the fold):

Is NFL Players Association Chief DeMaurice Smith being forthright when he contends he wants to protect the sport from "discrimination and hatred" as he has claims, or is he engaging in partisan hackery, with the benefit of having the ear of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell? If you look at Smith's past, you might come to that conclusion.

As NewsBusters Noel Sheppard pointed out Sunday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen shared Smith's concerns on the network's Web site Oct. 11 based on an e-mail Smith had sent which said the following:

"I've spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages," Smith wrote. "But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred."