A division of the National Organization for Marriage had gleefully claimed that the Chicago Bears contributed memorabilia to an auction that would help it raise money. But today its leader admitted that's not true.
Jennifer Roback More is the president of NOM's Ruth Institute, and in a newsletter reported on by Equality Matters, Dan Savage, and others, she claimed the Bears were huge supporters. She listed an autographed jersey from former linebacker Brian Urlacher and an autographed photo from the late running back Walter Payton as her big gets.
"You should know that we have two fabulous raffle items from the Chicago Bears Organization (and a huge THANK YOU to the Bears for supporting our message)," she wrote.
But after activists contacted the Bears to check out the claim, the team condemned Roback More for spreading "false" remarks.
"The two items featured in The Ruth Institute gala invitation were personal donations to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse," the team said in a statement, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Neither was a club donation, nor do they represent the team's view on any social issues. Any remarks stating otherwise are false."
That was followed by a retraction from Roback Morse herself.
"The Ruth Institute is not working with the Chicago Bears organization or any of its players past or present to promote our upcoming auction," she said, according to the Tribune. "The memorabilia we are auctioning off was acquired by me personally, not through the team or players. We understand that the Chicago Bears organization takes no position on social issues, and we regret any confusion we may have caused on this point."