Most of us have seen the oh-so-controversial commercial that aired during the Super Bowl with Tim Tebow and his mother. I'm not sure a commercial was ever more anticipated than that one, and what shocker it was.
Pam Tebow holds up baby picture of Tim. She calls him her miracle baby because of problems during her pregnancy. She says she and her family have learned to be tough. Then she goes flying off the screen, tackled by her son.
"Still worried about me, Mom?" Tim Tebow says.
Who among the estimated 106.5 million television viewers – and the untold millions more who have seen it on YouTube and other outlets – could possibly be upset with the image of a happy, active family?
The National Organization for Women, that's who.
The Los Angeles Times reported that NOW President Terry O'Neill said the Tebow ad – I couldn't make this up – glorifies violence against women.
"I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it," she said. "That's what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don't find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself."
No, Terry O'Neill is the one who should be ashamed.
NOW fights legitimate issues and has been a strong (if occasionally strident) voice against real problems in society.
This isn't one of them.
A statement like this actually hurts women's causes because it comes across as irrational wide-eyed rhetoric, especially when you consider the timing.
Hours before the Tebow ad ran, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warren Sapp was arrested in Miami on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery against a woman.
Where was Terry O'Neill on that one?
We'll let the Sapp case play out in court, but this is hardly the first time a male athlete has stood accused of such a thing. NOW issues occasional statements of outrage about this issue, but why not push the NFL and NCAA into a comprehensive and mandatory education program – starting from the moment a player enrolls in college and continuing until he retires as a pro.
Every player, from walk-ons in college to all-pros and coaches in the NFL.
That would be a sensible, positive and needed response to an issue that doesn't get nearly enough attention.
The NFL would either have to cooperate or face a real public-relations disaster. It might even make a difference by heading off potential problems before they escalate into real violence.
Instead, we get a ridiculous statement of outrage about an ad featuring a loving family.
We know why, of course.
The Tebow ad features a message to contact the group Focus on the Family, which strongly opposes abortion.
I'm not going to get into that debate here, but it's worth noting that prior to the airing of the ad, when NOW was trying to force CBS to keep it off the air, O'Neill told The Associated Press, "That's not being respectful of other people's lives. It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else's."
Yes, it is.
And to say that Tim and Pam Tebow have glorified violence against women is worse than offensive. It's downright stupid.
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