Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Tebow’s Ad in Wrong Forum

My beef this week is with Tim Tebow’s pro-life advertisement that is supposed to air sometime during the Super Bowl.

Every year, about 100 million people tune in to watch the Super Bowl, usually making it the most watched television event of the year. The game is always a great chance for families and friends to get together and watch the championship game of America’s favorite sport, or for others that are not the biggest football fans, to see some of the most anticipated commercials of the year. Whether someone is male or female, old or young, a Sports Illustrated subscriber or a Cosmopolitan diehard, chances are that this upcoming Sunday, they will be watching the Super Bowl – just like they do every year.

But this year, in addition to seeing some of the hilarious commercials they are used to, they will also see a commercial with a star athlete talking about a serious issue: Tim Tebow speaking on abortion.

Tebow is the former University of Florida quarterback, and he has been America’s golden boy for the past four years. He was born in the Philippines to Christian missionaries Bob and Pam Tebow, and he was homeschooled by his mother all the way through high school. During every game of his college career he wore biblical verses on his eye black. Tebow has even been personally affected by the issue of abortion; before he was born, doctors predicted a stillbirth and recommended that Tim’s mother get an abortion, which, being a devout Christian, she refused to do.

If you haven’t already guessed it, Tim Tebow is pro-life.

The advertisement, paid for by the faith group Focus on the Family, will feature Tebow’s mother speaking about her decision not to have an abortion while her Heisman Trophy-winning son sits at her side. The ad is meant to show women the positive effects of keeping their children, instead of going through with an abortion.

The problem is not the Tebows’ attempt to convince people to be pro-life; rather, it is the circumstances in which they are delivering their message. Players are always criticized for not taking stances on important issues, and when someone like Tebow comes around, it is a breath of fresh air for fans.

The fact that he is so principled at such a young age, and with all of his fame, is pretty commonplace. His missionary trips to third world countries, speeches to inmates and community service projects show that Tebow is a caring individual. But for him to come on the air during the Super Bowl as a 22-year-old college kid and talk about one of the most heated topics there is – with almost everyone in the country listening to his every word – is crossing the line.

Another issue with Tebow’s advertisement is the type of commercial it is. Anyone who has watched the Super Bowl knows that most, if not all, of the commercials are humorous. An issue this important should be debated and talked about in a setting that doesn’t occur between commercials featuring talking animals and women getting ready to strip off their clothes for

It is understandable why the Tebows would want to have the advertisement run during the Super Bowl: Their message will reach the biggest audience possible, but that is one of the reasons this commercial should not air this Sunday. In the past, advocacy groups such as PETA and the United Church of Christ looking to air their commercials during the Super Bowl have been turned down by CBS because of their tendency to cause controversy – the last thing people should have to deal with when they are watching a football game.

Sporting events, especially those as big as the Super Bowl, offer a way for people to escape life’s dilemmas, for a little while, with an exciting game and amusing commercials. Running an advertisement talking about an issue as contentious as abortion during the little time we have to get away from controversy ruins one of the beautiful things not just about the Super Bowl but about sports.

Tebow has the right to free speech; he can preach all he wants about his faith, and he is rightfully commended the majority of the time for taking such a strong stance on such an important issue and for having such a strong faith for someone who is so popular at such a young age.

So Tim Tebow, I am not critiquing the biblical verses on your eye black, your trips to jails to spread your faith to inmates who are in desperate need of someone to guide them, or your wonderful community service projects – just keep your message out of the Super Bowl.

Alex Lau is a freshman in the College. This is the debut of Sports Beef, which will appear in every other Friday edition of Hoya Sports.”

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