Heisman Trophy winner and ex-NFL quarterback Tim Tebow gave a speech at the Tennessee State Capitol Thursday as part of his ongoing efforts to end human trafficking.
Gov. Bill Lee @GovBillLee
At its core, human trafficking is an attack on the dignity of every human being & together we can end it. Grateful for our partners that are at the forefront of this important fight @EndSlaveryTN, @thistlefarms, @tnantislavery, @TimTebow & @tebowfoundation https://t.co/QnVQXTWdwp pic.twitter.com/nis6oTjDcm
According to Jonathan Matisse of the Associated Press, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the state's multi-million dollar partnership with Tebow, his foundation and other organizations to combat human trafficking Thursday.
The state will contribute over $5 million to the cause, with $1.2 million going to Her Song, a Ministry of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
According to Hannah Moore of WATE-TV, $3.5 million will also go to End Slavery Tennessee, $600,000 to Tennessee Anti-Slavery Alliance and $100,000 to Thistle Farms.
Last year, the Tim Tebow Foundation and Her Song Jacksonville "entered into a formal union" in the ongoing fight against human trafficking.
Tebow's speech, which can be found on TMZ Sports, included an anecdote about why he has joined the cause:
"My dad was in a remote country, preaching at an underground pastor's conference. And, where he was, there were four girls, not too far away, that were being sold. He took out all the money in his wallet which was $1,200 and he purchased them to rescue them because he knew whoever else was gonna buy them was not gonna do something good.
"He wasn't prepared for everything that was next but he couldn't not do something about it because this demands a response by him, by me, by you, by everything that they're doing. It demands a response. We have to respond. He responded, I'm grateful."
Regarding his work with Her Song, Tebow added: "My foundation and I are committed to increasing holistic survivor care across the country and around the world through our ministry, Her Song, and look forward to serving alongside the great State of Tennessee to continue pushing back this darkness."
Tebow won two NCAA championships and a Heisman Trophy when he played for the University of Florida. He played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets from 2010-2012. He then spent four seasons playing baseball in the New York Mets minor league system.
Per ESPN's Michael DiRocco, the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to sign the 33-year-old Tebow on a one-season deal as a tight end, although a contract had not been agreed upon when the report was made Monday.
Tebow would reunite with Jags head coach Urban Meyer, who ran the Florida program when the left-handed quarterback played from 2006-09.