Ok, we endured the Focus on the Family Ted Tebow anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl (along with a lot of other ads demeaning women). But now, NCAA.com, is also carrying a banner ad for Focus on the Family. I hear that CBS, the network that brought us the Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad, is also covering the Men’s NCAA Tournament, and plan to air these ads throughout the tournament with the complete complicity, consent and support of the NCAA.
Focus on the Family is a right-wing Christian political organization that not only opposes a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, they also are one of the most powerful national opponents of civil rights for LGBT people. You can bet they are in the forefront of every national and state battle over LGBT rights and abortion rights. Now they want to impose their values on the NCAA tournament and college basketball fans and the NCAA and CBS are inviting them to. They are rolling out the red carpet and I am deeply offended by the NCAA’s complicity in this.
The NCAA is the most prominent national governing body for intercollegiate athletics for women and men. The NCAA constitutional principles include an explicit prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation. Lesbian and gay student-athletes, coaches, and administrators are a significant part of the NCAA’s membership. Women are a significant part of the NCAA on all levels. Many of the individual institutions that belong to the NCAA have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Yet the NCAA apparently thinks it is just fine to support an anti-gay agenda.
The hypocrisy of this decision must have recently deceased NCAA Executive Director, Myles Brand, rolling over in his grave. This is an outrageous slap in the face to every LGBT person and their allies in athletics and to all other people who believe in a woman’s right to choose who are associated with the NCAA.
The NCAA cannot have it both ways. They cannot claim to care about the quality of the athletic experience for LGBT student-athletes and provide educational programs to assist schools in making sure that LGBT student-athletes can compete with respect and dignity and allow Focus on Family to use the NCAA web site and men’s basketball tournament to promote their discriminatory right-wing Christian agenda.
Besides, why on earth would the NCAA want to get involved in this controversial mess when it will only draw attention away from basketball and embroil the NCAA in an ugly public culture war battle. That is a question, I cannot answer, but we sure can make sure their decision is a painful one.
I’m serious. We cannot let this stand. So, the question is how to let the NCAA know that their promotion of the Focus on Family agenda is a big mistake. I am calling on everyone who reads this blog to pass it on to everyone you know who cares and ask them to pass it on. Ask your friends to contact the NCAA and tell them you are outraged. Tell your friends who attend an NCAA school or who have graduated from an NCAA school to call the president of their university and ask them to contact the NCAA to object to their support of the Focus on the Family political agenda. The NCAA is speaking for these schools. Is this how NCAA schools want to be represented?
Call NCAA Public Relations – 317 917 6762
Call NCAA Main Number – 317 917 6222
Email NCAA Public Relations – firstname.lastname@example.org