- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An ad for NBC Sports’ NASCAR programming, featuring the rugged, flannel-wearing Nick Offerman from “Parks and Recreation,” has offended the gluten-free community.

“When our idea of danger is eating gluten, there’s trouble afoot,” Mr. Offerman says in the two-minute commercial, listing other modern pastimes that would shame America’s Founding Fathers, like “texting each other smiley faces.”

A 60-second version of the ad ran during the Super Bowl, but didn’t include the part about gluten.

A Change.org petition created by “Gluten Dude,” in Newtown, Pennsylvania, has gained more that 18,000 signatures asking NBC to drop the ad.

“It implies that we’re soft…we’re weak…we’re part of America’s problem,” he writes. “When all we’re trying to do is manage our disease. Celiac can be a true pain. The media is not helping and this petition is [to] get NBC to see the light of day.”

An NBC spokesperson told Boston.com that the ad was not meant to offend anyone.

“The intent of our creative was to highlight NASCAR’s return to NBC Sports in 2015 and celebrate the sport’s fun and passionate following,” the spokesperson said. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive, but we understand that it is hard to please everyone, and apologize to anyone who took offense.”

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