CoverGirl responded Monday to images circulated on social media over the weekend of a model sporting NFL-inspired makeup and a black eye — a charged reference to the Ray Rice domestic violence controversy.
The top cosmetic brand, which calls itself the "official beauty partner of the NFL," recently debuted a series of ads encouraging women to "Get Your Face On" with makeup matching their favorite team's colors, such as black and purple for Rice's Baltimore Ravens.
But many activists apparently edited images to make it appear that one of the models had a dark bruise around her eye. In a statement, CoverGirl said it has "always supported women and stood for female empowerment."
"COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable," the company said. "We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence," the company said.
The NFL has been widely criticized for suspending Rice for two games after a video surfaced of him dragging his then-fiancée out of a casino elevator. He was suspended indefinitely last week after a video from inside the elevator showed him hitting her.
—By Daniel Arkin, NBC News