Men’s sports entities and their prized mouthpieces and/or bitchboys have kept relatively silent on all matters of bodily autonomy and the fall of Roe v. Wade. But in Ann Arbor, home to both the University of Michigan and the largest football stadium in the US, “The Big House” is apparently about to get a little bit bigger, as head coach and rampant sex abuse denier Jim Harbaugh has promised to raise any of his players’ unwanted babies that someone might be forced by law to carry.
On Saturday, during the University of Michigan football team’s summer tour of the state in Muskegon, Michigan, Harbaugh told ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski that should a member of the Michigan football team or program—player or staff—become involved in an unplanned pregnancy, Harbaugh and his wife Sarah would “raise that baby.”
“I’ve told [them] the same thing I tell my kids, boys, the girls, same thing I tell our players, our staff members,” Harbaugh said. “I encourage them if they have a pregnancy that wasn’t planned, to go through with it, go through with it…Let that unborn child be born, and if at that time, you don’t feel like you can care for it, you don’t have the means or the wherewithal, then Sarah and I will take that baby.”
Welcome to Coach Harbaugh’s Daddy Day Care: a place where forced births are aplenty, abortion is an unforgivable act of eternal damnation, and anti-abortion activist Harbaugh, the highest paid public employee in the state of Michigan, performs the roles of coach, pastor, and adoptive daddy.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the University of Michigan said they have “nothing more to add,” despite Harbaugh making anti-abortion statements during a promotional tour dedicated to the football team’s upcoming season on the team’s watch. With a current student body of over 47,000 undergraduate and graduate enrollees and about 640,000 alumni worldwide, according to the school’s website, Harbaugh’s repeated anti-abortion rants carry significant weight and potential for consequences—apparently unencumbered by the university’s official stance, which promises to continue providing “safe reproductive care…including abortion” to its patients.
A near-Herculean legend amongst locals, Harbaugh holds a sizable influence over impressionable young minds. In the world of football, where quarterbacks are gods apt to regularly get away with sexual assault, and head coaches are harbingers of larger regional political attitudes, Harbaugh’s disregard for the wellbeing and rights of pregnant people is concerning at best.
The Wolverines head coach, who signed a $36.7 million extension earlier this year, was also the keynote speaker at a recent “Right To Life” event, where he told the crowd he believes “in having the courage to” make people carry out forced pregnancies. “Passions can make the process messy, but when combined with respect, it ultimately produces the best outcomes,” Harbaugh continued, according to a Catholic outlet present for his speech.
Back to the burgeoning baby farm, which Harbaugh seems intent on opening: The notion of raising an entire football team’s potential unwanted children is not only morally corrupt, but logistically absurd. Would each player be required to take paternity tests? What if the entire student body, arguably part of the Michigander family of which Harbaugh speaks, takes Coach up on his offer? Who’s going to buy the extra cribs? Will he host a Baby to Baby luncheon to raise funds for several million diapers or empty his 4-year contract extension earnings? Will he pay for all of the children’s future college educations, or are they on their own for that one? What about the medical expenses for each forced birth? Better yet, do those children even want to be raised by a public booger-digger? Really, though, imagine how this conversation would play out: A player accidentally gets a college student pregnant, an inexplicably difficult dilemma, only to say to the mother of the child: “Don’t worry babe. Coach’s got it.”
My theory is that Harbaugh doesn’t actually care about his players’ illegitimate unborn children and the quality of their lives—but he does care about that embarrassing 2020 losing record and his tarnished reputation as an unsuccessful NFL simp. The ultimate penance, then? Perhaps Harbaugh’s Daddy Day Care is a front for a next-gen quarterback phenom farm: the Harbaugh babyback, if you will. The genes would be athletic, after all.
In seriousness, many collegiate athletes receive athletic scholarships to attend universities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. To suggest that, under any and all circumstances, a college student who may already be financially strapped should go ahead with an unplanned birth, rather than accessing reproductive care and making the best decision for that individual’s wellbeing at the time, is really just dumb. And that’s assuming the sex was consensual, which, on college campuses, often is not, given that 13% of all college students experience sexual assault at some point during their time on a university campus.
Best of luck to you, Jimbo. May “The Big House” be filled with screaming infants.