An Open Letter to the Atlanta Hawks About the Ashley Madison Video

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Dear Steve Koonin,

Please take down the Ashley Madison video. Please stop the campaign.

I’m all for clever marketing. If this were only about clever marketing, it would be a win. You guys clearly have your finger on the pulse when it comes to pop culture and social media. The Hawks continue to push the envelope. That’s usually a great thing and a lot of fun for fans, but this was a mistake.

People have lost their jobs as a result of Ashley Madison. Families have been shattered. Marriages have ended and as I write this, it’s safe to say that plenty of marriages are still up in the air as a result of Ashley Madison. And here’s the biggest one. Here’s the reason I had to sit down and write this: People are dead because of it. To be clear, there have been multiple lives that have ended in suicide as a result of Ashley Madison. The pain and shame were so much that these folks decided there was no way forward, no way to recover.

I don’t know about you but I call that a tragedy.

Would you joke about Ferguson? Would you joke about Charleston? Well, people died because of this as well. And although these men were crushed by the weight of their own mistakes, it’s still a tragedy. We can say they weren’t innocent, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a story not to joke about. Because beyond the deaths, even now, thousands of families are picking up the pieces. On behalf of those families, on behalf of the real-life marriages and the children not laughing, please take down your Ashley Madison video. Please stop the campaign.

Jamie Tworkowski
Founder, To Write Love on Her Arms

PS: I want to show you the shoes I’m wearing right now. The colors are your new ones. I’m a Hawks fan. So I’m not just writing as someone who cares about suicide prevention. I’m writing as someone who has a favorite basketball team. Please make this right.