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NCAA Removes Focus on the Family Ads

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The NCAA, the biggest governing body of college sports, pulled advertisements off its website from Focus on the Family, a right-wing Christian group that advocates against abortion and gay marriage.

The NCAA was chastised after ads from the Colorado Springs-based organization appeared on its website. Bob Williams, a spokesman, said the NCAA board vetted the ads before they went online and that they raised no red flags, according to the Associated Press.

The Web ad (shown above) features a father and son with the words, "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing." It also used the slogan,"Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life."

It was to run on several websites managed by CBS, including NCAA.com.

The ads ran due to a partnership between Focus and CBS, which aired the group's spot during the Super Bowl featuring NFL hopeful Tim Tebow and his mother advocating against abortion. The ad came as proof of change in CBS's long-standing policy not to air advocacy-based advertisements during major sporting events like the Super Bowl.

Some, like Pat Griffin, an adviser to the NCAA on LGBT issues and players, said the sports organization's acceptance of advertising from Focus on the Family sends a mixed message to gay athletes.

"It's not the right image or role for the NCAA to be endorsing an organization that has such an extreme right-wing Christian political mission," she said in an Associated Press report.

She added in her blog that while the Focus ads "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 naive."

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