Do you remember the last Super Bowl that did not have some sort of controversy connected with it? And this year was no different. This is being written prior to the big game, so I have not seen the actual commercial which is at the center of this year’s controversy, nor have I seen the rebuttal commercial that is supposedly also going to air during the game.
The controversy centers around CBS’s decision to air a commercial featuring former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother. They will tell the story of how Mrs. Tebow, when pregnant with her 5th child in the Philippines in 1987, chose to have the child against the abortion advice of her doctors.
Tim Tebow, a Christian athlete who features Bible scriptures on his eye black, became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy and winning two national championships.
The ad will be based on the theme “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” and is being paid for by Dr. James Dobson and the Focus on the Family group.
Women advocay groups are voicing their opposition to this ad, and have spoken with the network about not airing this commercial. Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media center, has been quoted as saying, “This campaign is about holding CBS and the NFL and the other Super Bowl advertisers accountable for inserting an exceedingly controversial issue into a place where we all hope Americans will be united, not divided, in terms of watching America’s most-watched sporting event.” During a TV interview in which she was asked if she had seen this commercial, she stated that we don’t need to see the commercial when we know what Focus on the Family’s agenda has been. She also stated that “40% of Super Bowl viewers are women, and that this ad is offensive.” (Supposedly, the words “abortion” and “pro-life” do not appear in the commercial.)
Attorney Gloria Allred stated that because abortion under any circumstance has been illegal in the Philippines since 1930 and is punishable by a six-year prison term, she finds it hard to believe that doctors would have recommended the procedure. The attorney claims she “will lodge a complaint with the FCC and FTC “if this ad airs and fails to disclose that abortions were illegal at the time Ms. Tebow made her choice,” according to RadarOnline.”
CBS is not only being critcized for airing the Tim Tebow ad, but also for declining to air an ad featuring an “effeminate ex-football player and a commercial for a gay men’s dating service.”
Some people not only find the ad itself offensive, but are upset that it’s being shown during the Super Bowl. “If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year,” wrote Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com. “It’s not a day to discuss abortion. For it, or against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Bowl Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.”
So, if you watched the game and saw the commercial, did you find it offensive? Did you think it should not have been shown during such a highly televised event?