Sunday brought the first full day of NFL action of the 2021 season, and with the opening Sunday coming on 9/12, the NFL opened its broadcasts with a tribute for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It featured a monologue about the importance of remembering the day as well as what 9/12 brought, which was a sense of unity and togetherness rarely found in the U.S., followed by the national anthem sung by the daughter of a man who died that day at the World Trade Center.
It was the kind of somber tribute that there isn’t really anything you can do to make a particularly smooth transition into whatever is next, but it would typically go to a host who would try their best to bridge the gap between tribute and the excitement for football. Except in this case, the tribute rolled straight into…an Arby’s ad, which felt a bit odd, to say the least.
Incredible transition to suck all the life out of that somber 9/11 NFL pregame tribute pic.twitter.com/MZpC7mNmEE
— Cameron Newton (@CamBNewton) September 12, 2021
Plenty of folks around the internet were taken aback by the ad placement, with a mixture of people being both off-put and also finding it somewhat morbidly fitting that even in a moment of trying to pay tribute, the NFL couldn’t help but wedge in some commercials immediately after.
please somber National Anthem.
WELCOME TO AMERICA.
— morgan (@mport56) September 12, 2021
NFL: emotional 9/11-9/12 tribute
Arbys: GET OUR PRIME CHEESESTAKE! ARBYS WE HAVE THE MEATS
— nick 🏴☠️ (@ROTYHayes) September 12, 2021
Sincerely love how we went from a 9-11 tribute to the national anthem to an Arby’s commercial there.
— Melissa Burgess (@_MelissaBurgess) September 12, 2021
the fact that an arbys ad just played immediately after that 9/11 NFL tribute just doesn’t feel right
— trent (@trentismynameo) September 12, 2021
Maybe next time it’d be best to not place an ad break immediately following your tribute, setting Arby’s up to be some form of fast food Nick Castellanos.