Watercooler – Is Tebow The Real Villain?

Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins makes some thought-provoking points about the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad controversy: (the full article is worth the read)

Florida Spring FootballPam Tebow and her son feel good enough about (her choice to give birth to Tim) to want to tell people about it. Only, NOW says they shouldn’t be allowed to. Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one…

… Everyone in both camps, pro-choice or pro-life, wishes the "need" for abortions wasn’t so great. Which is precisely why NOW is so wrong to take aim at Tebow’s ad.

Here’s what we do need a lot more of: Tebows. Collegians who are selfless enough to choose not to spend summers poolside, but travel to impoverished countries to dispense medical care to children, as Tebow has every summer of his career. Athletes who believe in something other than themselves, and are willing to put their backbone where their mouth is…

… You know what we really need more of? Famous guys who aren’t embarrassed to practice sexual restraint, and to say it out loud. If we had more of those, women might have fewer abortions.

I don’t agree with everything Jenkins has to say. Just because the Tebow ad doesn’t make an explicit anti-abortion pitch doesn’t mean it’s not appealing to those sentiments. It is meant to stoke the fire of an already explosive political issue, and it doesn’t belong in the context of a major sporting event (especially when other ads relating to controversial issues have been rejected.) I reject the implied notion notion that Tebow’s story and his opinions are worthy of national attention just because he happens to be a very talented athlete.

But Jenkins does raise some good questions:  Why are feminist groups objecting so much to one pro-life ad and not so much to the ongoing parade of sports commercials that objectify women as sex objects? Why is Tebow being demonized in this way when his off-the-field behavior seems much more respectful of women than than many high-profile male athletes? Are they throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

What do you think? What’s on your mind tonight?

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