East Rutherford, NJ—On Thursday, American Atheists launched a new billboard near Metlife Stadium with a dig at prayer. It is believed to be the first-ever atheist-sponsored ad aimed at a Super Bowl audience. The billboard features a priest cradling a football with text reading, “A ‘Hail Mary’ only works in football. Enjoy the game!” The billboard will run through Super Bowl Sunday.
The billboard invites fans to visit the organization’s National Convention website at atheists.org/convention2014. The convention will feature keynote speaker Chris Kluwe, a former NFL punter and noted LGBT activist. The convention takes place April 17-20 in Salt Lake City.
“Prayer is superstition, plain and simple,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “It trivializes the dedication of the players and takes away from their achievements. A third of football fans pray in hopes of helping their team. These are adults we’re talking about—people with children, people with careers, people who vote. It’s 2014; it’s time to stop believing that prayer works. Give credit where credit is due and celebrate what this is really about—coming together to cheer on hard-working athletes doing what they do best.”
“During the Super Bowl, people of all religions and atheists come together as a community,” said Managing Director Amanda Knief. “Like many in New Jersey, we at American Atheists are excited to be part of this event and with this billboard share our voice.
“This sense of community is a celebration of who we are and how we self-identify, and that’s the same environment we will create at the 2014 National Convention in Salt Lake City. Chris Kluwe, who will be our keynote speaker, is not only an athlete, activist, and writer, but also a nonbeliever. We invite atheists, fence-sitters, and curious believers alike who think they know atheism to think again and join us this April to see what we’re all about.”
The digital billboard, measuring 14 feet by 48 feet, displays the American Atheists design six times each hour through Super Bowl Sunday. The billboard is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey 0.5 miles west of the Meadowlands Complex on Route 3. The billboard is on the right side of the street, facing east and visible to westbound traffic. See below for links to the billboard graphic and a map of the billboard location.
The American Atheists’ 40th National Convention will take place Easter weekend in Salt Lake City. The convention will feature such speakers such as former NFL punter Chris Kluwe, Survivor®: Philippines winner Denise Stapley, Grammy-nominated Spin Doctors bass player Mark White, Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Maryam Namazie of the Council of Ex-Muslims, popular bloggers PZ Myers and Greta Christina, and American Atheists President David Silverman. The convention will also feature a costume party, live music, stand-up comedy, an art show and silent auction, national and local exhibitors, and childcare options for attending families. The convention takes place the weekend of April 17-20, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Billboard is located at coordinates 40.811105 / -74.10019
For the most-recent version of this press release, included updated links, see atheists.org/news.
American Atheists grants permission to press to reproduce and redistribute this billboard image under the conditions that absolutely no cropping or editing is performed and no overlays cover, hide, conceal, or distort any part of the image (including the title bar with website at the bottom), and that American Atheists is credited for providing it.
Link to Public Religion Research Institute survey for claim that 1/3 of football fans pray for their teams: http://publicreligion.org/research/2014/01/jan-2014-sports-poll/
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.