Nothing Wrong with Tebow's Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

Roland Martin | 2/11/2010, 5:16 p.m.
There is no rule anywhere in existence that says the Super Bowl should be free of politics and social causes. ...

There is no rule anywhere in existence that says the Super Bowl should be free of politics and social causes. None. So, what's the big deal over Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother starring in a pro-life ad?

This is one of those stupid debates we see too often these days. And frankly, the folks who make a big stink about this bring far more attention to the issue than it deserves.

Tebow has always been a fervent religious guy. As a Christian, he takes the admonition of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19 seriously: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

The Christian faith calls on believers to spread the word of God. There is nothing wrong with that.

As a paying entity, Focus on the Family has a right to spend the $2.6 million to air the ad. Would people be up in arms if Tebow and his mom had joined with Focus on the Family to do an ad asking for more donations for Haitian relief, funding missionary work in nations across the world? Or even asking Christians to unite and pray daily for America? Not at all. He would be hailed as the all-American kid he has been routinely portrayed as over his stellar career.

The criticism isn't unique. For many folks, they would rather Christians treat their faith like a buffet: take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, ignore this and that, and go on your merry way. But Tebow chooses to live his life differently, and that should be just fine.

What I found hilarious was Planned Parenthood cutting an ad featuring two athletes responding to Tebow. Why? If you didn't have the common sense to do the ad before the Tebow faux controversy, why now?

At the end of the day, there is nothing insensitive about the Tebow ad. There will be any number of ads airing before, during and after the Super Bowl broadcast, and we might remember some of them. Yet, we are likely to forget most of them.

It's great for advertisers to hype the ads as if there are two Super Bowls. But let's be serious; all folks will care about Sunday will be the contest on the field between the Colts and the Saints. Ads do not make the game. The game makes the game.

Lastly, for those folks who assert that Tebow is hurting his potential NFL career by taking a social stand, please, shut up. I'm sick and tired of today's athletes who care more about their paychecks than using the platform God gave them for good.

We regard Muhammad Ali as not only the greatest in the ring, but also as a major humanitarian. What he did as a man standing up for his faith and convictions still resonates today. We celebrate Roberto Clemente as a Hall of Famer in baseball, but he died in 1972 trying to deliver humanitarian aid after an earthquake ravaged Nicaragua. Jim Brown is arguably the greatest NFL running back ever, yet it is his work in trying to keep gang members from killing each other that deserves our admiration.

Instead of slamming Tebow, let's thank him for being an athlete who shows more conviction in his personal life rather than being convicted of a crime in a courtroom.

Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN analyst and the author of the forthcoming book "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin." Please visit his website at www.RolandSMartin.com. To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.