Tim Tebow is not your ordinary student-athlete. The senior, who attends the University of Florida, is unique. He was the quarterback for the Gators. Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. He is regarded as a natural-born leader on the field.
He’s also a son of missionary parents, performed circumcisions during the summer on a missionary trip, and he’s a virgin. Keep that in mind, ladies. He might be someone to take home for dinner and let mom gush all over about.
That’s just the good qualities and the stuff everyone likes about him.
NFL pro scouts will tell you that he doesn’t have a great arm, doesn’t take snaps under center, and is not a “prototypical” NFL quarterback material. Don’t blame him for his major drawbacks, except for his throwing arm. What NFL scouts lazily have not taken into consideration is that Tebow played in a spread-option system, devised by his coach, Urban Meyer. Don’t you think his coach has some responsibility in the style that Tebow plays?
Did you know that he’s going to be in a commercial on Super Bowl Sunday with his mom, Pam? His mom will speak about on how she, against the advice of her physicians, opted to give birth to Tim and risked her health after she contracted a tropical ailment. She was advised to have an abortion. She made the decision not to do the latter and gave birth to Tim.
It should not be a surprise that the conservative religious group, Focus on the Family, is the sponsor of the commercial and is paying the moolah to have CBS run the ad. Never mind the fact that the head of FOTF is Dr. James Dobson, a well-renown minister who seems to embrace being controversial when it comes to pushing religion into the political world and his anti-gay remarks.
What is interesting is on how Tebow is getting heat for “taking a position.” Is he taking a position by being in this upcoming commercial, even if his mom and him never uttered the word “abortion”? Does that makes him “intolerant” to those who are pro-choice?
Outstanding national sports writer Sally Jenkins, who is highly regarded for her stellar writing about women and sports, penned a thought-provoking column on Tuesday about Tebow and the commercial, as well as another topic that the media and fans talk about, but are split 50/50 over: athletes taking a stance on issues.
Jenkins, on the Tony Kornheiser Show (M-F, 9am-11am, ESPN 980-AM) called out the Women Media Center and the National Organization of Women (NOW), a group that she has sided with on many issues in the past, for being idiotic for protesting the Tebow ad. Jenkins and Kornheiser concurred that commercials with women wearing bikinis selling beer is less offensive to NOW than a 22-year old kid talking to his mom about her choice to risk her life and give birth to him.
To hear Mr. Tony and Sally, below is the link from Wednesday’s Part 1, and fast forward to the 17:05 mark of the clip to hear the interview in it’s entirety.
Jenkins brought up something else that merit discussion. We, as a society, demand that athletes get out of their protective shells and gated communities and take a stand on issues like politics, poverty, economics, and religion. When athletes do speak and take a non-sports position, we jump all over them for coming out saying what’s on their minds. It’s hypocritical for us to demand that they speak out, but then act shocked and angry when athletes say what’s really on their minds.
We can’t have it both ways with athletes.
Either we want to hear from them or we leave them alone. Plain and simple. What sense does it make that we clamor and expect for Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan to be this generation’s Jim Brown, but Tim Tebow isn’t allow to profess his faith, his vow to remain chaste, and have everyone know that his mom made a choice to give birth or not?
NOW has crusaded for over 40 years for women to be allowed to make a choice regarding pregnancy, without government intrusion. Pam Tebow made the decision on her own. No one told her what to do, which is what NOW is in favor of.
Athletes get put on such a high moral pedestal that politicians think it’s absurd. From all accounts and from those who have seen the commercial, it is a rather benign (plain) 30-second spot. There was no proselytizing, no endorsement of Focus on the Family, and it did not mention abortion.
I’m not one to tell you to watch the commercial in a certain way. That’s not my job. With that said, I have always believe that even if you agree with something, as Jenkins detailed in her column, do not be afraid to disagree if you see, read, or hear something that is not right in your book.