by Steven Ertelt
August 21, 2007
Jacksonville, FL (LifeNews.com) — With the start of football season just weeks away, millions of Americans are purchasing tickets and T-shirts to support their favorite teams. However, the Jacksonville Jaguars have given their fans one less reason to support the team, because its foundation has given a grant to the nation’s largest abortion business.
When the Jaguars were named as the National Football League’s 30th franchise in 1993, the Weaver family which owns the team wanted to make sure they gave back to the northeast Florida community.
They started the Jaguars Foundation a year later and awards went out before the team ever played its first game.
The foundation has awarded grants to various local charities to assist disadvantaged youth and their families. Eventually it added programs to help reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases to the goals it supports.
On Tuesday, the foundation awarded the first grants, which included a $30,000 donation to Planned Parenthood of Northeast Florida.
However, the abortion business prominently attacks abstinence education, one of the leading methods of helping teens avoid pregnancy and STDs, on the front page of its web site. The group features a story claming that teens who practice abstinence eventually engage in high risk sexual activities.
The foundation did not respond to requests for comment, but Peter Racine, executive director of the Jaguars Foundation, previously told the Jacksonville Daily Record, “We do not support abortion programs. We support prevention programs."
Racine says none of the money from the foundation goes towards abortions, though pro-life advocates say the money is fungible and frees up other funds at Planned Parenthood for abortion activities.
“Our programs are helping teens to make the right choices and ultimately we respect that they are going to make their own choices,” said Racine. “We want them to have the right information no matter what they do.”
This isn’t the first time the football team has supported the abortion business.
The Jaguars Foundation has given over $250,000 US dollars to Planned Parenthood in the last 3 years and a local pro-life group called Gideons Fire began a campaign in 2005 to notify residents there about the team’s actions.
The group placed three billboard advertisements in the city and protested a Jaguars game to inform other citizens.
Gideon’s Fire representative Mark Kersey, bishop of the Charismatic Orthodox Church in St. Augustine, calls the distinction between the pro-abortion and anti-pregnancy programs at Planned Parenthood "laughable."
“We thank them for their support of other organizations — they are great people,” he said. “Just stop using the Jaguars Foundation for this cause.”
He said his group would immediately stop opposing the team if the foundation would stop giving money to Planned Parenthood.
ACTION: Make your views known about the Jacksonville Jaguars funding Planned Parenthood. Conact: Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, One Alltel Stadium Place, Jacksonville, FL 32202, (p) 904-633-KIDS, (f) 904-633-LOVE, (e) [email protected]