Like most sports controversies, the Tebow story is already yesterday’s news. Google his name and you will see how few stories there are out there over the last month. He was hot for a while: Denver had a nice little run with him back in the dark ages of two seasons ago, and then the New York Jets fans and team kicked him to the curb and said good riddance.
Since the New York Jets released Tim Tebow, various voices have either relegated his name to that junkyard reserved for superior college athletes that could not perform in the big leagues of the National Football League or heralded him as a Christian martyr equal in bravery to Iranian pastor Saeed Abedini. Those from both sides of this issue should take a deep breath and consider Tim Tebow as he has always wanted to be seen… a hardworking man willing to take the world on his shoulders and unwilling to bury his beliefs for the sake of advancement.
Was Tebow fired because he is a Christian? Some like John Galt say yes. In a recent article, he wrote:
Tim Tebow might well have been fired because he was a Christian and having a player who attempts to be his best in the name of God offends some NFL teams and players. Christians are noted for turning the other cheek and can take quite a bit of abuse regarding their personal character, political viewpoints, and criticism of their lifestyle so he was an easy mark. As Tim’s career moves forward, the lesson other athletes might learn is that to be an active and visible Christian might indeed mean going into the closet so as to avoid the scrutiny and spotlight even as other alleged minorities like homosexuals, bigamists, Satanists, and others come out of the closet in the professional sports world. Time will indeed tell how this plays out.
Others are just at adamant that the former Florida quarterback was sacked, pun intended, because he simply was not that good. An honest Christian football observer must agree that Tim Tebow simply does not fit any pro quarterback mold. His throwing motion is not textbook, he does not read defenses exceptionally well, and the wildcat offense he might have fit into somewhere is already becoming a fading experiment in the NFL. Then again, most naturally talented but not-ready-for-prime-time quarterbacks are given a clipboard to hold for three to four seasons and allowed to learn a game that is far different from that seen in college.
However, even if one excepts the premise that Tebow is persona non grata in the NFL because he has no talent, then what about all the other questionably talented athletes still enjoying multi-million dollar contracts, awards, and recognition? So why are some of them still in the news as though they really mattered in the scheme of things for their particular sport? And why are some of these athletes not kicked to the curb for being mediocre, too vocal, and controversial?
This would include athletes, to pull a name out of the hat, like NBA Washington Wizard center, Jason Collins. Collins was a college All-American at Stanford who has since had a lackluster career as a professional. His lifetime stats as a professional include a career average 3.6 points and 3.8 rebound per game. The last five years of his career makes those numbers look like hall-of-fame material.
Add to Collins dismal performance on the court the fact he recently decided to become vocal about a personal choice that has nothing to do with his athletic ability and one would think he might be joining Tim Tebow on that scrapheap. Instead, Nikebasketball.com recently designated Collins the “Baller of the Week,” various organizations have presented him awards, and the President of the United States declared him a hero and gave him a personal phone call.
So what made the difference between Collins and Tebow? The Jets did not fire Tim Tebow simply because he is a Christian, or else Drew Breese would have been fired for the personal faith he writes about in his biography along with a dozen other NFL players that openly kneel in end zones and point to heaven after touchdowns. In the end, Tebow had the audacity to take what is perceived as the losing side in the current PC debate, gay marriage.
Even after Tebow decided not to speak at churches that are on record as opposed to gay marriage, the die was cast. There is simply no room for dissenting voices in the national limelight. Those who refuse to join the tidal wave of acceptance for what they consider wrong are not welcome. Abuse a spouse, break the rules, end up in drug rehab, even praise some third world murdering dictator, and some team somewhere may pick you up. But never ever let your personal faith in God’s mandates translate into meaningful action; that is the one thing the culture apparently cannot tolerate.