Jim Harbaugh, like every other football coach in America, is trying to navigate an unprecedented offseason. The Michigan coach has not been speaking into microphones much recently but did manage to make it onto a National Review podcast with Jay Nordlinger. The two grew up together, so the conversation was as leisurely as billed.
They spoke about optimism for the fall and the challenges this new world has created for the Wolverines coaching staff. Then, at the end, things drifted into a different territory.
Nordlinger asked Harbaugh if he likes what he sees from the college-aged kids he's surrounded by (51:26 mark). Harbaugh couldn't have been more complimentary of the younger generation, along the way pointing out the positive and prevalent attribute of caring about others.
He then offered some expanded thoughts on what he's seen from society as a whole during the pandemic, first flagged by MLive:
“Now with the COVID-19 I see people more concerned about others and more prayerful," Harbaugh said. "As I said, God has virtually stopped the world from spinning. I don’t think it’s coincidence, my personal feeling, living a faith-based life. This is a message — this is something where, a time we grow in our faith. Having reverence and respect for God. You see people taking more of a view of sanctity of life and I hope that continues — and not just in this time of crisis or pandemic. And lastly, abortion. We talk about sanctity of life, yet we live in a society that aborts babies. There can’t be anything more horrendous.”
That's a stance that will score Harbaugh major points with a certain portion of his fanbase and alienate another. It's certainly not something I was expecting to hear, but perhaps by now we should all know there's no predicting which direction a college football coach is going to go when asked to opine about real-world stuff.
It'd be great for local reporters to dig a bit deeper on this opinion and see if Harbaugh believes coronavirus is, in fact, a message from above meant to refocus the abortion debate. Because that's what it sounds like.