TAMPA, Fla. -- Four days after Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay missed a 34-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds of a one-point loss to the New York Giants, Secret deodorant took out an advertisement poking fun at the team's kicking situation.
The ad, which appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, features U.S. women's national soccer team captain and three-time World Cup winner Carli Lloyd, who nailed a 55-yard field goal during a visit to a joint practice between the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens last month.
It reads, "Hey Bucs fans, do you sweat 34-yarders? Carli Lloyd doesn't. Secret believes strength is more than overcoming what makes us sweat. It's continuing to pursue progress and equality in all industries & sectors. Women may not play professional football (yet), but isn't it time for a level playing field wherever she wants to play?"
Secret said that the ad creative and copy were approved by Lloyd, who posted it on her own social media accounts.
Gay, the Bucs' fifth-round draft pick this year, also missed a first-quarter extra point attempt during Sunday's 32-31 loss, and a second extra point attempt was blocked. The previous week against the Carolina Panthers, he missed a 42-yard field goal.
"It is what it is," Gay said Thursday. "I signed up for this job. I knew what I was getting into when I got into it -- especially in my position. It's the NFL. That's what it is."
The Bucs' struggles at kicker are well documented. Roberto Aguayo, whom the Bucs selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, was waived after one season. Gay is their 11th kicker since 2009, tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for most in the NFL in that span.
"You paid your money, [so say] whatever you want to say," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Monday about fans being critical of Gay. "He isn't going anywhere."
On Thursday, Gay was appreciative to have the support of Arians and his teammates.
"It means everything, especially coming from him," Gay said. "He said it to me right after the game. He came up to me and said, 'Hey, you're not going anywhere. You're gonna be our kicker here for a long time. We're gonna need you so ... bounce back.' That says more to me than anything.
"Having support from him and every one of these guys in the locker room. I'm just blessed to have the teammates I have that have been so supportive. The messages and comments I've gotten from them -- it's been nothing but love and support. It's a big testament to what's going on with this team and who we have."
Lloyd's longtime coach, James Galanis, told ESPN that Lloyd has had offers from two NFL teams but doesn't believe she will pursue kicking in the league until 2020, when she could have a full offseason to train for it.