The status of some popular sports athletes believe they have the right to be outspoken about their beliefs on the sports field. One of these popular athletes is Tim Tebow, acknowledged by many as the greatest player in the history of college football. His status confirms that Tebow went onto playing in the National football League for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets his popularity was evidence for his faith. After being traded by the Denver Broncos in 2010, his number fifteen has become the league’s highest selling jersey.
After Denver Broncos traded Tebow to the New York Jets in early 2012, Tebow continued to be featured in sports media. The most popular shows on television such as Saturday Night Live, and Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show has featured Tebow and his beliefs. Tebow’s statement is both loved and resented for his personal beliefs, such as the time that he marked John 3:16, a popular verse out of the Bible, on his face during a college game.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believers in him should not perish but have everlasting life. ” This action was a distraction to some sports fans. This Bible verse is sentimental to Christians and is taught to children for the reason that it talks about the foundation of God’s love for everyone in the world. These public beliefs has led to more athletes making their personal belief known but not every athlete belief on the field is about religion.
The personal outspoken public beliefs of athletes could be banned from the professional sports field because they cause confusion to sports fans. These outspoken athletes status confirms they are using their fame as a pedestal, because they want their beliefs to be heard. Pro athletes showcasing their personal beliefs on the field is bad because pro athletes showcasing their personal beliefs on the field distracts from the sport. There are many fans of football who believe that athletes such as Tebow disrupt the game when they mention Jesus.
Some believe religion is meant to be private because they do not want their children seeing an athlete making a religious statement during America’s favorite pass time. Many fans do not bring up beliefs of religion in their household, but when an outspoke athlete decides he is going to bow down to pray in the middle of the field instead of in the privacy of the locker room it will makes some fans who have small children nervous. A sports critic says, Tebow’s behavior is polarizing because he appears to ignore or at least not acknowledge that the world of religious belief is complicated and diverse.
Given the highly public nature of Tebow’s conspicuous piety, no wonder that thoughtful people are troubled by either his ignorance or his unconcern with how belief, both private and public, should come to grips with facts about religious diversity. (Watson 232) Tebow seems to be a cultural phenomenon as much for his beliefs as for his sporting prowess. Tebow’s childhood has is a important reason to his outspoken statements of his beliefs. Born in the Philippines in 1987, the fifth child of Baptist missionaries, Tebow’s childhood was steeped in the morals and values of evangelical Christianity.
Many fans say that Tebow seems to be a great guy that uses his love for God and football to reach others on the football field but he should listen to the fans that believe his personal beliefs are distracting from the sport. Anything that distracts from the sport is bad. If any player decides to pull their pants down in the middle of the game to moon the audience that would be a distraction. Sport fans act as if Tebow’s public display of his faith on the field is more polarizing than someone who pulls down their paints in the middle of the field.
Fans who are appalled about Tebow’s personal beliefs on the field are over reacting Anyone who agrees to ban personal beliefs on the field should also ban tattoos, because they mean the same. This sports critic says, “Tebow’s behavior is polarizing because he appears to ignore or at least not acknowledge that the world of religious belief is complicated and diverse… “(Watson 232). This critic should realize that the popular art of the tattoo is the same as these personal beliefs but yet more harmful.
Pro athletes who showcase their tattoos on their bodies make many different statements including statements on religion and no one says anything about them. Tattoos are equally as polarazing as the personal statements Tebow makes, because tattoos have many health risks to them along with many different meanings. Some sport fans who disagree with Tebow’s public actions overlook the fact that tattoos permanently mark the skin and children who see their favorite athlete marked up with tattoos will influence them to get a tattoo at some point in their life. Therefore, Tebow is the better influence.
If some fans are upset about athletes showcasing their personal beliefs on the field their tattoos on their bodies should be covered up along with everyone’s First Amendment Right of free speech. Everyone has the right of free speech including these pro athletes and what they do on the field is their business even though it might be in front of the world. A different example of someone who uses his beliefs on the field is football player Colin Kaepernick, now a San Francisco 49ers quarterback who made a different statement by choosing not to stand and put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem.
This is a different type of statement than Tebow’s but Kaepernick after awhile received more support. Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, did not feature Kaepernick as they featured Tebow. Therefore, in many ways Kaepernick statement was more popular because it was more of a political statement than Tebow’s. Kaepernick gives a statement of reason for his actions by saying, Thave great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have a family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country.
And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening…. Many believe football players have a privilege of being role models and are in an important position because others listen to what they say. Tebow is admired and hated for his beliefs some of the same people who critique Tebow for expressing his beliefs publicly defend Kaepernick based on his freedom of speech rights. For this reason, all personal beliefs should be banned from sports. Some support Kaepernick such as a local artist who painted a mural of Kaepernick in Oakland in a hostile territory for the 49ers. We got your back,” it read (Hsu). Some fans did not understand Kaepernick’s personal statement at first but some changed their minds when they discovered the meaning of his public belief on the sports field. But right now Kaepernick is Tim Tebow. “Both men should be lauded for their activism, even if you don’t agree with the impetus for that activism, and both are bad quarterbacks who won playoff games in this decade” (Kurtenbuch). ESPN says, Kaepernick may be currently being blackballed for the fact that NFL Coaches do not like distractions.
Some believe he cannot play ball that is why he is being blackballed. Therefore, Tebow was never blackballed for his actions fans seemed to be more stunned by his belief. In opinion Kaepernick’s belief statement was more on the rude side such as he did not agree with the governments actions; therefore, he had to behave as a precocious child and not take the pledge like everyone else while everyone was watching him. He was a distraction. One former athlete that showcased his personal beliefs in his sport is Kurt Warner.
Warner a former quarterback who became an overnight sensation for the St. Louis Rams in the late 1990s, he rubbed a few people the wrong way for his outspoken Christian faith. Warner mentions to a reporter he learned the hard way that he should’ve been more sparing with his religious rhetoric, and that he should’ve simply let his actions do most of the talking. Warner has some advice for Tebow saying, “The eatest impact you can have on people is never what you say, but how you live. When you speak and represent the person of Jesus Christ in all actions of your life, people are drawn to that. You set the standard with your actions.
The words can come after. (Strode) Tebow is admired for being outspoken with his beliefs but some disagree with his actions. Tebow should avoid being outspoken altogether about his beliefs because the greatest way to be a role model is to live by his actions not what he says or does. One opposing argument is sport fans enjoy their favorite sport athletes stating their beliefs during a sport game, but athletes should listen to their fans that do not agree with their public personal belief. Their are sports fans who are fans of these athletes, but their are sports fans that are opinionated about athletes stating their personal beliefs publicly on the field.
One view, these athletes would not be outspoken if their fans did not enjoy what they have to say, but again athletes need to be careful not to become a distraction. Athletes should keep this up for the fans who admire them for standing up for what they believe, but athletes need to realize their personal beliefs are not about converting their fans to believe what they believe. These outspoken athletes are distracting their fans from the game using their fame status to get people to listen to them. Some fans are resentful because religion has various meaning for people.
Religion can not be understood by the amount of time it takes Tebow to pray on the sports field. Popular sport games are being watched everyday by millions and not everyone will understand Tebow’s outspoken beliefs. Therefore, outspoken beliefs that are showcased in sports should be banned because of these public displays on the field are an distraction. Religion and tattoos have sacred meanings to multiple of sports fans so if you ban one you have to ban the other on the sport field for the reason of both being a distraction.