Dean, Titans' Johnson create TV public service announcement

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 1:54pm
Chris Johnson and Karl Dean

Forming an unlikely duo, Mayor Karl Dean and Tennessee Titans star running back Chris Johnson have teamed up to fight homelessness.

Dean and Johnson were filmed Tuesday at the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge as part of a television public service announcement for The Key Alliance, a nonprofit fundraising arm of the Metro Homelessness Commission. The group reached out to Dean and Johnson.

“Their message is a call to the community to join The Key Alliance,” said Judith Tackett, the organization’s communications director.

For $25, anyone can join The Key Alliance and become a key supporter of the group, she said. The goal of the organization is to find permanent solutions to homelessness in Nashville. Those interested can sign up at

“We’re about getting people off the streets one person at a time,” Tackett said.

The Key Alliance’s primary initiative is known as “Housing First.” The program seeks to take individuals and families living on the street and find them permanent housing. In their new homes, a master-level social worker provides one-on-one case management. 

“Regardless of where they are in their life, we offer them that,” she said.

Tackett said she did not know when the public service announcement would begin airing or whether TV channels would carry it. She said the spot will be viewable online.

Janel Lacy, Dean’s press secretary, said the mayor was happy to take part in the public service announcement, adding that he’s shown strong support for The Key Alliance in the past.

“We shoot PSAs all the time,” Lacy said. “It’s not often we get a chance to shoot a PSA with someone of Chris Johnson’s caliber. We thought it was a good opportunity and a chance to promote something that’s important to the mayor and the city.”

Dean recently hired Tam Gordon, a special assistant to former Gov. Phil Bredesen, to help launch a new poverty initiative within the mayor’s office. Lacy said the public service announcement is not part of the same program. 

9 Comments on this post:

By: NewYorker1 on 2/24/11 at 1:34

That's wonderful. I just hope they don't show Mr. Johnson in the television public service announcement. When I see him, it makes me sick to my stomach. He could be so much better looking if he did something with his teeth. It's turns my stomach when they show his mouth.

By: bfra on 2/24/11 at 2:40

As usual ny1 you don't know anything about Mr. Johnson! He is 10 times the person of sloppy, gimme your money Dean. He should have made the announcement alone or with someone that really cares about people. Not (I hope), soon to be "has been" Dean.

By: fdanshep on 2/25/11 at 7:09

bfra, you need to quit straining yourself over the election. Name one person who you think has a legitimate chance to defeat Dean. It ain't going to happen!

As for Johnson, I guess he has done a lot for "grills" in this area. I despise it and think it limits his ability to merchandize himself but obviously some business people don't. . But the fact of the matter is, if I was trying to promote a program or sell a mainstream product, Chris Johnson would be way down on my list as a spokes person.

By: bfra on 2/25/11 at 7:27

fdan - Why don't you check out Johnson's handicaps and see if you could accomplish as much under the same circumstances! As for his "grills", this is his business and for King Dean, I think he is history.

By: fdanshep on 2/25/11 at 7:49

Bfra: Look, I agree that the grill is his business and it is obvious that he has Tourette's or some type of involuntary condition. I suspect he did not come from the most economically advantaged background as well. I do admire what he's achieved but let's face it, it is because he is a fabulous football player. But if I were his agent or adviser I would attempt to pursuade him to become more mainstream and present himself in a more conventional manner. For example, wear a suit when the occasion calls for it. Put yourself in a light where people are listening to what you say rather than whay you look like and whether your appearance is appropriate. This is not just my opinion, I have heard local media comment on it as well. Playing football doesn't last forever.

By: bfra on 2/25/11 at 8:52

fdan - I must say, your second comment is much better and isn't as condescending! I still admire Johnson for his accomplishments and maybe his agent or advisor, will take your suggestions into consideration.

I still say, someone more caring about the people he is supposed represent, than Dean, would have been better.

By: frodo on 2/25/11 at 9:22

Let Johnson be Johnson, fdanshep. He doesn't have to dress like Brentwood to be a football star...unless, of course, he goes to Brentwood Academy.

But it does not escape me that the Mayor has transitioned well from law to politics...appearing in a PSA with a football star to kick off a re-election campaign. Do you suppose he got it in writing that the adds must appear before the election? He proves what many before him know...even a nonprofit funds can help finance an election.

By: fdanshep on 2/25/11 at 9:37

Ok Fellas, I won't continue the argument but I give you Eddie George as the guy who has always seemed to "get it"! He knows when to go mainstream and when to kick back. I suspect that I am guite a bet older than frodo and likely look at things from a different perspective. Have a good day!

By: frodo on 2/25/11 at 9:44

fdan, I voted for Richard Nixon. But now I live in the 21st century.