Sean James and Al Joyner Respond to the Tebow Super Bowl ad

February 4, 2010

By now you may have heard about the Focus on the Family-sponsored anti-choice ad slated to run during the Super Bowl. The ad features football player Tim Tebow and his mother discussing her decision not to have an abortion when pregnant with the star player.

The ad has been controversial for many reasons, including that it marks a change from CBS’s past “no advocacy/controversy” policy (an ad for a gay dating site was declined), glosses over issues related to privilege and the illegality/safety of abortion in the Philippines, and presents a situation in which Tebow celebrates her own choice (to go through with the pregnancy) and its resultant football star while advocating against other women having the same choice.

We don’t yet know the exact form the ad will take, except that CBS has worked with the anti-choice Focus on the Family on the language, and it will highlight Pam Tebow’s decision not to have an abortion with a tagline of “Celebrate family, celebrate life” (as though one can’t do those things and be pro-choice?).

Planned Parenthood has already released a preemptive response video featuring former football player Sean James and Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner espousing a message we can get behind – one of choice and trusting women. Among their comments:

I respect and honor Mrs. Tebow’s decision. I want my daughter to live in a world world where everyone’s decisions are respected.

We are working toward the day where every woman will be valued. Where every woman’s decision about her health and her family will be respected.


Related: Jacyln Friedman writes at The Nation about sex and the Super Bowl, arguing that “the Tebow/Focus on the Family ad is just a new expression of a longstanding Super Bowl tradition in which women are valued only in direct relation to their usefulness to male athletes and fans.”

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