Hate the game, not the player

Those against Tim Tebow seem to have reasons beyond his play

Tim Tebow.

With this name I feel many are divided. You have the devoted fans–those who think the Broncos quarterback is really pulling something off–and you have the haters who think he’s garbage. I can respect those who don’t like Tebow as a quarterback. As sports fans, we are entitled to our opinions about each player’s performance and consistency. The player is fair game. But for those who don’t like Tim Tebow as a person, I have to ask what their idea of a likeable or good person is.

Even the most avid anti-Tebow people out there can’t deny the goodness of the guy. Upon graduating from the University of Florida, Tebow established the Tim Tebow Foundation in 2010. This foundation extends into four projects. One is the WI5H Program, part of the organization Dreams Come True based in Jacksonville. The program’s goal is to give kids with life-threatening illnesses who have always dreamed of meeting Tebow the chance to do so. Another part of the foundation partners with CURE, bringing healing in developing countries. It focuses on kids who face physical disabilities and is constructing a hospital in the Philippines specializing in orthopedic care. Another venture of Tebow’s called Timmy’s Playroom creates playrooms in children’s hospitals all over the world.

Now, I can’t help but feel like any other star athlete who did these great things, regardless of where he stands as a quarterback, would at least be admired. But I think those against Tebow often use his not so conventional play to cover up their real beef with him: his faith.

What is it about people who freak out when the “God” or “Jesus” bomb gets dropped? And I’m not talking just atheists and those from other religions and beliefs. I’m talking about Christians too. Just look at what former quarterback Kurt Warner, a devout Christian himself, even had to say:

“You can’t help but cheer for a guy like that. But I’d tell him, ‘Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you’re living. Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony.’”

Here’s my take on it. Tebow isn’t forcing anything on anyone. He’s simply expressing something that is important to him. Is it really any different than if Tebow was married and thanked his wife after every game for supporting him? Maybe some remember this quote from Tebow in his interview with Skip Bayless:

“If you’re married and you’re a [husband], is it good enough to only say you love her on the day you get married, or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have an opportunity? And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the most important thing in my life, so anytime I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or give him an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I’m gonna take that opportunity.”

I wonder what the reaction would be if Tebow was Muslim and prayed toward Mecca after every touch down, or if he was Buddhist and worshiped Ganesha, god of success.

My point is, I think people need to give Tebow a break. Warner is full of it. Tebow’s actions are one to be admired by any Christian or non-Christian alike. And backing up those actions with words of his faith is exactly what he’s doing. People have the right to choose what they want to believe, and Tebow isn’t forcing anything. So if you truly don’t like Tebow for his play, so be it. But think twice before you bash the guy for his faith.