The late Reggie White was as verbally and demonstratively religious as Tim Tebow.
White was praised for it, admired for it, respected for it.
He was never, ever mocked for it, not even after he created a brief tempest when he condemned homosexuality from a pulpit.
Yet Tebow’s religiosity is relentlessly ridiculed by fans, media, NFL opponents and late-night TV show hosts.
Why the radical difference in treatment?

Phil Mushnick, NY Post, 8/24/12

Y’know, if I’m ever inclined to wake up some morning feeling glum about how few newspaper columnists are ready to defend the white race against double standards, at least I can face the day knowing Phil Mushnick is always on the case. And it would help matters considerably if I chose to ignore some pretty basic facts. Like for instance, the late Reggie White — however bigoted against homosexuals he might’ve been — was pretty respected as professional football player. White went to the Pro Bowl thirteen times. He was the NFC Defense Player Of The Year on three occasions. His number was retired by the Eagles and the Packers, and White was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Despite all these achievements, CBS still saw fit to tear up a $6 million contract for White’s TV analysis after he publicly blamed homosexuals for a litany of society’s ills. Perhaps Phil doesn’t think that’s nearly as bad as being widely ridiculed, but it’s a pretty fair bet had White and his statements survived into the era of sports blogs and Twitter, he’d have been a far bigger target than Tebow.

As for the 25 Year Old Virgin, he’s pretty fucking easy to ridicule. And much of that mockery stems not simply from his “religiosity”, but from Tebow’s proselytizing and anti-abortion advocacy. Had Reggie White appeared in a similar Super Bowl commerical alongside his mom, chances are very slim no one would’ve taken issue with it.

Of course, all sorts of things are tolerated when someone is very good at their job. For instance, Tebow’s current team once employed a former pill-popper who liked to send lewd text messages to women who weren’t his wife. The guy in question was far more adept at throwing a forward pass than Tebow, yet didn’t escape the wrath of the public or media. Given that Tim Tebow’s professional resume is pretty modest compared to Reggie White (and I’m being kind here), his non-football activities are going to prove tiresome for reasons that aren’t limited to religion or politics. Some folks are just plain sick of the guy.