Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Information on the Menage a Trois Among the NCAA, CBS and Focus on the Family

Though we can thank the NCAA for pulling the Focus on the Family ads on NCAA.com yesterday, it looks like we need to stay alert about what might be coming as March Madness approaches. According to this article in Inside Higher Education, the Focus on the Family ads on NCAA.com were part of a larger package deal between CBS, who manages the NCAA.com site, and FOTF. The Super Bowl ads were part of this package too. It remains to be seen whether or not the package also includes an agreement to air FOTF ads as part of the NCAA tournament TV or internet coverage.

As the Higher Education article points out, the issue here is not the right of CBS, a for-profit organization, to set their own advertising standards around so-called “advocacy” ads, even if we don’t like them. The issue is the involvement of the NCAA, a non-profit educational organization made up of hundreds of member institutions across the USA, allowing itself to be associated with advertising that is in contradiction to the NCAA’s own written standards and organizational mission.

Though the FOTF ads on the NCAA.com site were not strident, anyone who is minimally familiar with FOTF’s goals and mission knows that when they say “Celebrate Families, Celebrate Life” this is not just a generic feel-good message. Their definition of families they want to celebrate is restricted to heterosexual married families. When they talk about celebrating life, it is an explicit anti-abortion message. To belief otherwise is na├»ve.

FOTF is entitled to their perspectives on controversial issues. They have a right to buy advertising time if their ads meet the standards of CBS or any other for-profit media group. However, we must draw a line when it comes to the involvement of non-profit educational organizations like the NCAA that represent educational institutions whose mission and values do not square with those of FOTF.

I’d like to go into March Madness like I always do, excited about the basketball I will be obsessed with over the next 5-6 weeks. I do not want to feel sold out by the NCAA or need to go to war about it. But I will if I have to.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you against celebrating life?

Sean McCoy said...

So if, say the Rainbow Coalition or GLAAD put up a banner that said "Celebrate Diversity," and some high-ranking members of either of those societies were known to regularly rant and rave in their personal lives against "Whitey" or all the Republican homophobes, would you take issue with them as well? Can you really say with all honesty that there is no double standard here? Pulling FOTF's ad because you happen to dislike some of the things you believe they believe in smells of an Orwellian society.

Anonymous said...

Tolerance is only acceptable if it means tolerance of your views and your lifestyle, Pat?

Anonymous said...

FotF? You can't be serious. If a benign message like this can be pulled because the messenger is labeled a "hate messenger" - you may as well target 95% of all Christian insitutions in this country. As a Black man who has seen discrimination first hand, I never thought I'd see discrimination for my faith. But thanks to you and others, I can see the day coming.

Greg said...

LGBT Lets get bigoted together.

Geumisaflower said...

More propaganda supporting atheism while attempting to smother a Christian organization's
outreach to those in need of it. Pat, it looks like you're trying to push your own agenda, which is hardly nondiscriminatory.

joe said...

I am disappointed in you, Pat. Focus on the Family is a fine organization that promotes traditional family values...very good for young, impressionable college students and an excellent Rx for America. The core of America is the family. If we are to restore our nation, we need to begin with the restoration of our families.

littlehoudini said...

Pat, here's a *positive* comment for you - good for you for sticking to your beliefs, and speaking out against Focus on the Family. Regardless of what others think, they are a hate-filled group intent on everyone living the way *they* believe is best. Shame on them and kudos to you.
-AB

Anonymous said...

Bravo for working to uphold the NCAA's commitment to ALL athletes.

To the critics -- choosing not to endorse an organization's highly politicized campaign (thinly veiled though their position might be) is not persecution or discrimination. In what way is the NCAA obligated to FotF?

(And "joe," you neglect to mention that the discourse is about the "right kind" of family...)

Thanks, Pat

Anonymous said...

A newborn has more right to live than you. You have chosen to live yours the way you want. A baby has the right to be born, grow up and choose how it wants to live. When you stand before God at judgement I pity your soul and all the others like you who condone murder of precious babies. Their blood will be on all your hands.

Wyman Stewart said...

First of all, thank you Pat Griffin for putting your name on your Blog and being out front. I can respect that.

In my mind and heart, the pulling of the Focus on the Family Ad is wrong. Thank you for the NCAA e-mail address, so I may tell them I feel they are wrong to pull the Ad.

(I said much more, but over-ran the 4,096 characters limit for comments here. This issue is worthy of a debate in a much larger forum. Thank you.)

Anonymous said...

Pat, before I wrote this I prayed for you. People like you who fight against FOTF and other Christian groups are nothing but hypocrites. You push tolerance of everyone EXCEPT Christians, because Christians are a painful reminder for you that you are rebelling against God and the moral absolutes He created, including His command not to murder and His design for heterosexual marriage. Statistics prove that "traditional" families are much more healthy than any modern arrangement. Also, most women I know of that have had abortions have regretted it-and rightly so. My prayer for you is that you will stop fighting against Almighty God and all that He stands for and accept His Truth and the sacrifice of His Son for the salvation of your soul.

Kelly the City Mouse said...

I speak as a woman, married to a man.. as a homeowner, a worker, a student, and a future mother when I say thank you.

Focus on the Family and similarly single-minded groups on either extreme of the political spectrum often use soft, fluffy images and words to mask a policy of hate, discrimination, and intolerance. I'm just glad that the athletic and education communities brought to bear the pressures that helped the NCAA make such a wise decision in pulling the ad.

The America I love is neither Christian nor Atheist. It is not gay or straight, not trans or cis, democrat or republican, nor is it color, size, income, lifestyle, or choice. It's not any one of these things. It is all of them. It is a place of hope, possibilities, and a pioneering spirit to find the path to freedom. All we can do is to try to affect the changes that will bring us back to something that resembles the American Dream (for ALL), not the American Nightmare (for most).

Amy said...

THANK GOD FOR PAT GRIFFIN. :)
Pat has been a role model for me since I was a college-student athlete dealing with my own coming out struggles -largely due to religious interpretations and social expectations.

Pat's book, "Strong Women, Deep Closets" was my bible at a critical time in my development. Thank God that her book was on my advisor's bookshelf. FYI, my former advisor is a proud Christian.

Sean McCoy said...

The issue here is not Pat's character, nor is it religion, sexual orientation, or whether or not anybody is pro-whatever. The issue is censorship based on perceptions of motives rather than the reality of the act, which can't be justified in a free society whether it comes from the left or the right. Big Brother would be proud of this move.

Anonymous said...

This is a sad, sad commentary. Pat, I respect the work that you've done and I know your heart is in the right place but this is a bit over the top.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, Pat. FotF are nothing but hateful bigots hiding behind self-righteous religious propaganda. There is nothing loving or Christian about them. Their God would be ashamed.

kvw said...

@Sean McCoy: How is it censorship? The NCAA has the right to select the ads it does and does not want to run on its OWN site. It's not a public forum, as far as I know.

Sean McCoy said...

You're right in that they have the choice as an independent, for-profit organization. In that respect it isn't censorship in the strictest sense of the word. But when one special interest group's feel good message is lobbied against on politically correct grounds—even though it is admittedly "not strident," as Pat said—when we all know good and well that feel good messages by other special interest groups like those examples I gave in my first post would be completely untouchable without massive media hysteria, I consider that a form of censorship.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about "tolerance?" I don't tolerate hate groups like FOTF and liars like James Dobson and his spin-off lie factory Family Research Council. No respectable educational organization should have anything to do with this anti-gay, misogynistic cult. When it comes to liars and hate-mongers, to hell with tolerance. Dump 'em.

Anonymous said...

Once again, these crazy people go out of their way to to target the LGBT community, even on this blog. Boo hoo.. your adds are hopefully being pulled. They should be. LGBT people do not preach against hetero america. We want tolerance and to be left alone by crazies FOTF organizations who are not promoting anything but anti tolerance. PUT A GAY COUPLE IN YOUR ADDS if you're serious about promoting family.

Anonymous said...

Pat, thank you for being your usual courageous self and pointing out the hyprocisy of accepting anything from an organization that condemns all who do not agree with their 1950's, all white, all heterosexual view of America. I loved your example of the messenger definitely effects the perception of the message and for the NCAA and anyone else to pretend otherwise, is playing the audience for fools.
SR