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Tim Tebow robbed of chance to shine in NFL due to media’s focus on religion

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Skip Bayless, Fox Sports One host and a long-time Tim Tebow supporter, came to the player’s defense this week when he concluded that Tebow’s faith caused a “lack of opportunity” in his career.

Bayless argued this week that the NFL player’s religion at times created a “circus of a media distraction” in his pro football career, calling out the treatment Tebow received as he countered his “Undisputed” co-host Shannon Sharpe who angrily criticized the 33-year-old’s recent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Did he ever get one opportunity to start a game as a quarterback for either of those teams?” Bayless asked. “No, he did not. Which is the most outrageous lack of opportunity for a player who had proven that he could be so clutch in big moments.”

“Who knew, what it’s like to not get a fair chance in America,” Sharpe, a former professional football player, shot back. “I know probably about 50 million people that didn’t get a fair chance.”

“He didn’t get a chance and I do believe it was because in the big picture, the media’s focus on his religion,” Bayless countered.

Tebow went to the playoffs with the Denver Broncos during the 2011 season and received NFL opportunities with the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles. Despite opportunities on those teams, Tebow never had the chance to start as a quarterback and is now returning to the league nearly a decade since his last professional game.

Critics remain upset that Tebow was recently signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars, calling it white privilege,  while their beloved social justice warrior, Colin Kapernick, remains out of contract after his political justice displays during the national anthem cost the NFL fans and sparked debate about the role of athletes in politics.

Last week, Stephen A. Smith brought up the news on ESPN’s “First Take” saying “I’m gonna bring up white privilege…is this not an example of white privilege? What brother do you know that’s getting this opportunity?”

Smith concluded his take on Tebow’s return saying, “Let me be the first to say, I don’t give a damn how you feel. I mean what I say. It is white privilege.”

Not everyone agrees. 

Smith’s argument falls flat when you take a look at Tebow’s career–lest he’s forgotten that Tebow won the most prestigious award in college football, the Heisman Trophy.

While the Black Lives Matter movement has received the most attention in the social justice sphere in the last year, there are many other forms of prejudice and injustice. Tebow was mocked during his football career for being open about his Christianity. He often kneeled and prayed during games, a move that the media dubbed “Tebowing.”

Despite the detractors, many have taken to Twitter to defend Tebow’s return:

Kay Apfel

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