ESPN Airs Catholic Hospital’s Rejected ‘Jesus’ Ad Following Backlash

ESPN recently reversed its decision not to air an ad that references Jesus after receiving a fair amount of backlash from a number of unhappy individuals.

In case you’re a little late to the game, the network decided to ban an advertisement for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center because the clip was reportedly “too religious” for broadcast. Since the ad used “Jesus” and “God” in the audio, ESPN decided to pass on the campaign altogether.

In addition to irritating the political right by rejecting the ad, Breitbart reports that feathers were additionally ruffled after the network ran an ad for Obamacare. After countless folks expressed their displeasure with ESPN’s decision to reject Jesus and embrace Obama, they ultimately reversed their decision.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ESPN made the decision to air the banned Jesus ad Thursday. The clip made its debut over the weekend.

The network said in a recent statement:

“We have again reviewed the ads submitted for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and have concluded that we will accept the original requested commercial. It will run in Saturday’s VCU at Northern Iowa basketball game on ESPN. This decision is consistent with our practice of individual review of all ads under our commercial advocacy standards.”

The Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center ad was previously deemed inappropriate for broadcast since it contained the words “God” and “Jesus.” The clip ESPN later accepted had the religious references omitted. However, the network ultimately ran the advertisement in question with the words intact.

“We celebrate the birth of Jesus and the season of giving, bringing hope to the many children, parents and families that we serve. Help us reveal God’s healing presence this Christmas,” the ad states.

Although ESPN didn’t immediately proclaim that references to Jesus and God were the reasons why the clip was initially rejected, Fox News reports that the foundation’s executive director confirmed the network wasn’t happy with the religious nature of the campaign.

“ESPN came back to us and said it was denied due to religious advocacy. We were disappointed and dumbfounded with their decision,” Dan Buck explained.

ESPN official statement after the rejection explained, “As originally submitted, the spot did not meet our commercial advocacy standards. We have since been supplied with a different commercial, which will air on the 14th.”

Are you surprised that ESPN originally rejected the hospital ad because of references to God and Jesus? What do you think about the network ultimately reversing its decision?

[Image via Renata Sedmakova /]