Fox News host Bill O’Reilly blasted ESPN Wednesday night for rejecting a Christmas ad submitted by a Catholic hospital in St. Louis.
The sports network felt the ad’s use of the lines, “celebrate the birth of Jesus” and “God’s healing message,” were “problematic,” according to O’Reilly.
Watch the exchange between O’Reilly and guest Doug Napier, senior vice president of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit based in Scottsdale, Ariz.:
Twitter lit up after the segment aired. Some examples:
Really ESPN? You won’t allow Cardinal Glennon’s commercial because they say they celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas?
— Lisa Garrett (@OneSmile5) December 12, 2013
— Dorothy O’Reilly (@DorAnnCecil) December 12, 2013
It didn’t take long before the “B” word was used — boycott.
— Michael Wilson (@mww1954) December 12, 2013
Now I have to give up ESPN. They won’t run ad for kids in catholic hospital ’cause it mentions Jesus & Christmas. Huh? Bye M& M; MOn ftball
Given that ESPN is the dominate name in sports TV, a boycott would probably fail. Nonetheless, it’s ridiculous that ESPN considers the mention of Christ’s name on the day Christians celebrate his birth “problematic.”
Read more tweets collected by the Twitchy Team.
Napier put it best: “To say that there’s too much Jesus in this Christmas message of hope is like saying there’s too much sports in ESPN.”
UPDATE: Thursday night, Bill O’Reilly announced that following public protest, ESPN will allow the ad in its original form.