Friday, December 16, 2011

The Tim Tebow Issue Is Complicated ... Favoritism, Football, Race, Religion

by Sandy Gholston

Tim Tebow, of the Denver Broncos, is generally either loved or hated by people who are loyal followers of the National Football League. First and foremost, Tim Tebow is not hated because he is a Christian. That assertion is the biggest bunch of garbage that I have maybe ever heard come out of the media. Turn on pro and college football, watch it for any number of hours, and you're bound to see numerous players (of all races) kneeling in prayer, thanking God and otherwise expressing their faith. It is absolute garbage to say or imply that Tebow is the victim of some anti-religious media bias. Now, as we know, that doesn't stop the right-wing nuts at Fox News from advancing such an absurdity. A panel of the disgraceful and disgracefully-biased Fox News Watch program tried to turn it into a Christian-Muslim issue on a couple of occasions. Again, this is absolutely absurd. In this clip, the right-wing panelists, either through their ignorance of bias, never talked about the many prayer huddles that happen before and after games, prayers that other players have after touchdowns or how players thank God in post-game interviews.They could not do that ... you see, it doesn't go with their agenda to portray Tebow as a victim of religious or Christian bias. Twice in that clip they invoked Muslims and even evoked the black Muslims led by Elijah Muhammad, who was followed by boxing great Muhammad Ali. This was not an accident. It was a subtle injection of race.
Tebow is criticized or disliked for the following reasons:

1. People do not like having stars shoved down their throat before they feel like an individual has truly earned that praise.

2. Defenders of Tebow irrationally shove his modest early success down the throat of people who are either neutral or critical.

3. He is winning with a style that is unorthodox and some people think is unsustainable.

4. He is getting all (or the vast majority) of the credit for the Broncos' success in spite of a strong running game behind Tebow and a strong defense.

5. He is getting praised where black quarterbacks (Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick as examples), historically, have been criticized. For example, University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is "winning" but is roundly criticized while Tebow is "winning" and gets national praised heaped on him. This has caused resentment.

6. Some people tend to want their sports free of religion.
Tebow is having success and I hope it continues for him. I just don't think his style is sustainable, but we will see. History will be the ultimate judge of Tim Tebow.

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