As noted earlier this week, Tim Tebow spent much of last Sunday afternoon on his back, watching more than one member of the Detroit Lions defensive corps make light of the cultural phenomena that’s come to be known as “Tebowing”. In the view of the New York Post’s reverse-discrimination watchdog Phil Mushnick, such religious persecution shouldn’t go without notice.
The fallout in response to this latest low in professional unsportsmanlike conduct has been mostly shrugs and silence, far short than what this sowing should have reaped.
Imagine if Tebow had been mocked on the field for being black, or for being a Muslim, or for being Asian, or even mocked for being an ex-con! The fines, suspensions, apologies — released in statements, of course — and sensitivity sermons would have lasted all week, and beyond!
That’s how painfully backwards things have become. If a player were suspended after an arrest for carrying a concealed weapon outside a nightclub at 3:30 a.m., players would show him their highest regard by inking his uniform number on their game shoes. You can even flash a gang sign for extra Nike cred. But Tebow, just trying to do his honest, faith-filled best, is lampooned as a jerk, a freak.
The “shrugs and silence” would come as a big surprise, I presume, to Fox Sports’ Jen Floyd Engel (“What if Tim Tebow were a Muslim?”) or ESPN.com’s Jemele Hill (“iff Tebow were Muslim or Jewish, would Tulloch and Scheffler have been so quick to execute a prayer parody?”), both of whom wrote pieces on the same subject for widely read, national outlets, one and three days before Phil did the likewise.