Tim Tebow’s accomplishments on the football field are well documented. During his tenure at the University of Florida he led his team to two National Championships, won the Heisman trophy and will be remembered as arguably the greatest player in Gators history. And while the jury is still out on whether Tebow has what it takes to play quarterback at the NFL level, it’s something he’s done off the field that is creating buzz as we head into Super Bowl weekend.
The Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family has produced a commercial that is set to air during the Super Bowl. It stars Tim Tebow alongside his mother Pam and is expected to tell the story of Tebow’s birth in 1987.
While doing missionary work in the Phillippines, Pam Tebow – then pregnant with her fifth child – suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Doctors expected the child to be stillborn and urged her to abort her pregnancy for the sake of her own health. Holding to her maternal convictions she refused to heed their advice. Instead she carried her pregnancy to term and ultimately gave birth to Tim.
Pro-choice groups – despite not knowing what the ad will actually say – have been very vocal in their disapproval of the commercial. Many have voiced their opinion to CBS, demanding that they pull the ad. “An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jemhu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.
CBS has stood by their decision to air the ad and has even stated that they would accept more “responsibly produced” advocacy ads for the few remaining Super Bowl spots.
The topic of abortion is always the hottest of hot-button issues. And the use of mass-media is certainly not a new tactic for advocacy groups that wish to get their message to the widest possible audience. But this may be the biggest stage any such ad has ever seen, and it’s being produced by the pro-life movement’s heaviest hitters.
I hope that this ad’s message is presented in the most responsible way possible. And since this effectively is Tim Tebow’s first professional endorsement, I hope that he has given it heavy – and prayerful – consideration.
But ultimately I pray that this message would bring hope and healing to women and not the type of condemnation and ridicule that so many have cynically come to expect. That would be the kind of thing that could truly bring people together instead of politicizing this issue and dividing us further. Anything less would be a disappointment.
Where do you come out on this? Should CBS be allowing advocacy groups to buy Super Bowl ad time? Will such a heavy issue put a damper on your ability to enjoy the game? Could the backlash effect his draft position?