Before you read this article, know that I am in no way intending to be racist, biased, or maleficent. I am purely asking a legitimate question that may be offensive to some.
Now, why did I feel the need to post that paragraph above? It is because many people around the world think so highly of University of Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow. And if you don't think highly of him, then you are blind, negative, illogical, or non-christian.
I was talking to a friend from Georgia yesterday. He told me that a few Sunday's ago at his church, someone stood up during the service and asked everyone to pray for Tim Tebow after he suffered a concussion.
Over the years, Tebow has certainly generated an inspiring life testament. He was almost aborted as a child. He was born in the Philippines. He was a home-schooled missionary.
However, his play on the football field is what has inspired many. He fires up his team. He gives tear-jerking speeches after losses. He plays bigger than most linebackers. He has led Florida to two national championships, while gathering a Heisman trophy along the way.
Most people would agree that those things are great. But let us take a step back and from the exalted light and ask ourselves this: Would I think so highly of Tim Tebow if he was an African American?
This is a legitimate question no matter what race you are.
My opinion is that there would be no where near as much glory exalted upon Tebow if he was black.
If a black player were to display the same kind of on-field antics as Tebow displays, the black player would be called a thug.
It is a fact that Tim Tebow has never been flagged for excessive celebration. Yet, after almost every somewhat good play he has, he celebrates like he just won the lottery.
Earlier this month, AJ Green from Georgia was flagged for a celebration after making a potential game-winning touchdown versus LSU. The celebration certainly was not excessive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-qccCuL4nQ).
Last season, during the National Championship game versus Oklahoma, Tebow blatantly taunted an Oklahoma player (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A4U216fG_8).
Watch those videos and decide for yourself which one is more excessive.
Why do refs seem to turn their heads when Tim Tebow celebrates? Is it purely political? They don't want to put a bad image on the college football poster boy.
The media is guilty as well. They may not turn away, but they give excuses for Tebow's actions. They say, "Man, Tebow is so passionate about this game!"
Last season, Florida whooped FSU at Doak Campbell. It is traditionally a heated matchup, so the emotions were flying. But is taunting the crowd and players really "passion for the game"? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WytseYY0mSc)
You can argue that it's passion, but it is also excessive taunting.
Another aspect of Tim Tebow's attitude that the media tends to thrive on is his leadership.
When Tim Tebow runs along the sideline yelling, flailing his arms around in hopes of encouraging his team, he is seen as a wonderful leader (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-qodBTlMtA).
When an African American player does the same thing, just in a different body language, he is seen as being a hooligan.
Just clear your mind before watching your next college football game. Listen for the subtle biased comments that are uttered.
Some may argue that Tebow is not looking to taunt, or put down the other team. He is just a great christian kid that loves the game.
What makes him so great? His resume? The bible verses that are printed under his eyes?
There are other great christian football players in college who have great resumes and great bible verses on their faces, but do not get the attention that Tebow does.
I'm not saying that Tebow is not a Christian, or that the attention he receives is undeserved, but it just seems like he uses his Christianity as stepping stool to spotlight.
Actually, in the same bible that Tebow's verses descended from, it is printed "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matthew 23:12 NIV)
Yes, we all make mistakes, and we are all selfish, but Tebow's actions on the field seem to say: "Look at me! Look at me! I'm the greatest thing to grace this earth since Jesus Christ".
Remember his midseason pledge last season after UF lost to Ole Miss (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AANukKd64X0)? Who was the focus on? It seems like it was all about him.
That does not seem like a humble attitude to me, it seems like a self-exalting one.
Let's say an African American player was an exact replica of Tim Tebow, just with a different skin color of course. This player did the same things as Tebow. This player is a professed Christian and he has won multiple awards. Would you esteem this player as much as you do Tebow?
You may now be thinking after reading all of that, that this article is irrelevant and inconclusive. I believe that it is just as relevant and conclusive as writing an article predicting the SEC champion.
You may also think that I am only jealous. I agree that Tim Tebow is a great player. He has done some great things. He has earned a lot of his hype. He will probably go down as one of the greatest college football players ever.
But think what you want, there is still prejudice and racism in this country. It's not as alive or apparent as it used to be, but there are definitely undertones of it everywhere.
As a fellow fan of sports and as a fellow human, I challenge you to be fair in your judgement of others no matter what ethnicity, background, status, or success.
To judge where you are at, again, honestly ask yourself this question: If Tim Tebow was black, would I really like him as much?
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