One of the stars of Mini’s Super Bowl ad called “Defy Labels,” Abby Wambach, was arrested and charged for driving under the influence, causing the company to pull its ads and re-evaluate its relationship with the soccer star.
Wambach is the most prolific scorer in soccer history and an emerging leader in the LGBT community. In the ad, she appears standing in the driver’s side door of a Mini Clubman and says “This is a gay car” while using air quotes to emphasize the word “gay.”
“We’re obviously concerned about the alleged DUI attributed to Abby Wambach,” the brand said in a statement to Automotive News. “This behavior is against the values we promote as an organization and the safety of everyone on the road is a priority here at Mini.
“Because of this, we are re-evaluating her association with the brand and are pulling content that individually features Abby from our marketing. We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options.”
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Also of note: she wasn’t driving a Mini at the time of her arrest. She was behind the wheel of a 2014 Range Rover. Wambach was reportedly pulled over early Sunday morning in Portland, Oregon, after failing to stop at a red light.
The soccer star accepted responbility for the incident, in which she was described as “cooperative” by local police. “This is all on me,” she said in a Facebook post. “I promise I will do whatever it takes to ensure my horrible mistake is never repeated. I am so sorry to my family, friends, fans and those that look to follow a better example.”
Wambach was joined by several stars, including another female professional athlete Serena Williams. The other athletes in the commercial include former pro baseball pitcher Randy Johnson, skateboard Tony Hawk.
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In addition to the commercials that has been in rotation on television, Mini also put out a 90-second video of Wambach talking about the labels applied to her during her lifetime and how she’s brushed them aside as part of her success.
“Those are things that, for me, never defined who I was, never defined how I played, never defined my individuality of my authentic self,” she said in the ad. “I don’t ever give anyone else the power to call me something and have me be affected by it.
“I realize that we are all different and I accepted who I was at a pretty early age. Once I accepted myself and who I was, I don’t care what you call me. The confidence just came to honor and own who you are. Period.”
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Wambach also talks about driving a Mini and why she likes the car in the ad.