After trying to reach out to football fans by airing an ad during the Super Bowl, Focus on the Family is now targeting college sports. This week, LGBT blogs reported that NCAA.com was running a Focus on the Family banner advertisement. The site has now pulled the “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life” ad, citing concerns by NCAA members over Focus on the Family’s homophobic positions:
The NCAA made the decision after some of its members – including faculty and athletic directors – expressed concern that the evangelical group’s stance against gay and lesbian relationships conflicted with the NCAA’s policy of inclusion regardless of sexual orientation, [NCAA spokesman Bob] Williams said. [...]
Williams said the decision to pull the ad was based not on the message but on the messenger.
Advertisers “should be generally supportive of NCAA values and attributes and/or not be in conflict with the NCAA’s mission and fundamental principles,” according to NCAA standards. The NCAA may exclude ads or advertisers “that do not appear to be in the best interests of higher education and student athletes.”
On Monday, Pat Griffin, a former professor and consultant to the NCAA on LGBT issues, wrote, “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. … 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.”