Politics and Religion: Two Issues Not To Tackle in Sports (Commercials)

Colby PashContributor IJanuary 28, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators stands on the field before the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Let the debate begin.

For an unclear reason, this year's Super Bowl is weighed down by political and religious agendas, namely those of Tim Tebow.

Politics and religion, two things not to mix with co-workers, acquaintances, alcoholic beverages, or any combination of the three, will both be making a $3 million appearance at the Super Bowl. Most all of these discussions begin with civil interaction and end with enraged fists and bridges burned.

So what's different this year? Why is Tim Tebow's pro-life commercial allowed to air on Super Sunday? Well, a few reasons.

  1. Someone ponied up the $3 million to buy the 30 second spot.
  2. Tebow is no longer an NCAA athlete. His image is his to hone however he chooses.
  3. Tebow's relationship with his mother is a story of compassion. The questionable content is heavy .

Let it be known that I'm a firm believer that religion and politics have no place on public airwaves. We have churches, synagogues, mosques, campaign offices, street corners and voting booths. But I'm sure some of you will disagree.

And you're right. Just like I'm right for having my opinion. This is a country with which we can do what we wish within the laws laid out to protect us. But in this regard, in this scenario...I'm stumped. I know the commercial is coming. I have an understanding of its content. It could be offensive. It could be avoided. But I'll watch and so will you.

As a collective, what will we decide? Is it right or is it wrong? Do you agree, or do you disagree?

Where do we, a society (of sports fans, that is) dominated by men, find the gaul to think we should have a say in a matter that pertains to a woman's body and well-being?

It doesn't boil down to right versus wrong.

And it's not a grey area, either. Right and wrong is easy.

Let's evaluate recent headliners in the sports world:

  • Tiger Woods' ongoing extra, extra, extra-marital affairs: Wrong
  • Gilbert Arenas' gun toting and lack of compassion: Wrong
  • MLBPA's $1M donation to Haiti relief: Right
  • Stephen Jackson's accused assault of 9 month pregnant girlfriend: Wrong

These are random examples. As you see, many of them fall under the 'Wrong' umbrella, but that's relatively common in professional sports. Please note: many players have/are involved with nonprofit charities that help a wide variety of people in need. Also note that general kindness, i.e. helping the elderly cross streets, doesn't make the sports news headlines.

Considering the sports world is full of reported immoral behavior, the fact that Tim Tebow is willing to stand up for something he firmly believes is right should be considered a good thing. But that doesn't mean it belongs on national television during the Super Bowl.

'Right' and 'Wrong' aren't relevant in politics and religion. There are far too many sides to take and belief systems to consider. Religion, whether you have it or not, is a passionate thing. Politics, whether you're agnostic or not, affects your life.

This debate is about when, where, and why.

When is easy. It's during the most watched, most popular television event the world over. It's on Feb. 7, 2010. It's the New Orleans Saints versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Where is easy. The game is in Miami. But the commercial...well, the commercial in question is on millions of televisions across the world. Televisions in bars, pubs, taverns, restaurants, living rooms, garages, basements, cell phones, liquor stores, gas stations and certainly places I'm leaving out. The commercial will be seen before the eyes of republicans, democrats, independents, doctors, dock workers, children, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, agnostics, school teachers, scientists, sewer treatment plant operators...well, you get my point. Everyone will see it.

Why? Why is tough. I've heard what Tebow is saying regarding 'why', but it's not a good argument as far as I'm concerned. Sure, Tim Tebow is one of the most amazing people to play college football. He's likable. He's a talented motivator. He's earnest. The fact that his mother elected not to terminate her pregnancy is truly something the world has benefited from, and their relationship too, I'm positive. With this being said, I'm not aware of the reasons she was considering a termination, nor do I find the reasons relevant to the argument.

Again, I ask: Why?

The overwhelming majority of abortions—there, I said it—would not result in little baby Tim Tebows if they were allowed to come to term. This, I'm certain of. For the record, they wouldn't all be destitute and homeless, either. Regardless of whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, this is not a matter that needs to be anywhere near a television set on Super Sunday. It's something that belongs, if anywhere, on a voting ballot or in conversation between a woman, her husband, and their doctor.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, with or without a Super Bowl commercial, Tim Tebow is going to believe what he believes. Josh Hamilton will believe what he believes. Uguetha Urbina will believe what he believes and Robin Yount will believe what he does. I believe what I do and you believe what you do. These are our personal beliefs. They are our personal passions.

What a sports hunk says on a television won't change my opinion on the matter of abortion, just like what I'm writing in this article won't change yours.

Putting bible verses on eye black is one thing, but forcing an opinion on a mass of people for the price tag of $3 million is questionable at best.