Your viewpoint is valid. That is, as long as others agree with it.

A professional athlete, a player in the NBA who is now a free agent, just came out as openly gay after living his lifestyle in secret for years. Even his biological twin brother didn't know it until he told him last year. This certainly sets a precedent as this man was the first pro athlete in a major US sport to declare that he was a homosexual. As a result, the media simply exploded with this story, with headlines and comments sounding like this:
"What a courageous act this man has performed, revealing his sexuality to the whole world."
"I really hope he gets picked up by a new team next year so that he can have the chance to play for the first time as openly gay."
"If no one signs this guy to an NBA contract next year, that will just go to show how bigoted professional sports have become."
Of course, not all of the press sang the same tune. One media figure, an ESPN sportswriter by the name of Chris Broussard, spoke out against the homosexual lifestyle. In fact, he spoke out against ALL sex outside of marriage, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. In doing so he showed great respect for this man and did not choose to denigrate him as a person nor as an athlete. Yet Broussard did stick to his belief that the Bible speaks against all sexual sin, of which homosexuality is one. I think you can figure how this played out.

Intolerant. Bigoted. Hateful. Shameful. Narrow-minded. And those were just the cleaner words used to describe Broussard's opinion, which he voiced only when asked to do so. No one commended him as brave for speaking openly about his Christian faith. In fact, social media "experts" were abuzz with calls for him to be fired for being such a self-righteous bigot. We don't need that in sports! How dare he share his religious beliefs like that!

At about the same time that this was consuming the mainstream media, another athlete, this one a well-known NFL player, was handed his walking papers. Tim Tebow, the much maligned quarterback of first the Denver Broncos and most recently the New York Jets, was released from the team after just one season in which his cleats barely graced the turf on game day. It seems that Tebow was not a good fit for the Jets organization so they released him, putting their hopes in their more veteran quarterback and a newly drafted college star. Business is business.

Yet Tim Tebow's story was also splashed across the media headlines. Why so much coverage, much of it negative, for an athlete who has been released from his team? Players get cut all the time in professional sports. The reason Tim Tebow's story was so sensational is also due to the fact that he also chose to openly live his life in a certain way as well.

Tim Tebow has chosen to live his life on a different platform, that being to honor Jesus Christ. Many have criticized Tebow for being over the top with his faith, almost too zealous. But Tebow is simply an example of one who takes the truth of the Bible seriously and lives publicly what he believes. What has amplified his story is that, since he was first heralded as a quarterback phenom in high school, the press has been all around him with microphones shoved in his face.

Tebow's faith has never been private, never been kept a secret. As long as there have been reporters asking questions, there you've had Tim Tebow deflecting all glory to God. And he's enjoyed quite a bit of success along the way. Two-time NCAA champion in football, Heisman trophy winner, and AP college football player of the year, just to name a few. Yet for some reason, all along the road of his football journey, Tim Tebow has been castigated, doubted, and basically hated by so many.

The only reason that comes to mind is that Tim Tebow is a guy who is serious about his faith. Is he flaunting his faith, forcing people to believe as he does? No, he's just taking the many opportunities given to him to publicly profess Jesus. Not many in our world are given this kind of a stage to stand on as an athlete, yet there is a double-standard out there of what is acceptable to say once you are on that platform. It seems that Tebow's views are not what people want to hear, so he is publicly ridiculed for expressing what has always been public for him. Chris Broussard, welcome to the club.

When Tebow was released from the Jets, the media hounds were waiting on him to catch his last walk of shame from the Jets' facility. They captured still-shots of Tebow walking to his car, plastering them all over the news so that the rest of the sports world could revel in his failure as a player. At least that is what most people were saying - he's a failure, a joke, a disgrace to the game of football. And why? Certainly not because he was a loser. No, when he took the reigns as the quarterback in Denver they won games, even advancing in the playoffs. He was never given the chance with the Jets so it is unfair to say that he was a loser who didn't know how to win. You can't win at a sport that no one will let you play.

But that really isn't the issue here. It's about which viewpoints in our culture are considered valid. I'm sure this NBA player that came out as gay is a fine basketball player - he's been in the league for 12 years so he does have talent. And if a team needs him for next season I hope he plays and has a great season. I also want Tim Tebow to succeed in football because he has a great track record as a winner and has a work ethic second to none. Yet this is not how this will play out.

To want a player to succeed because his viewpoint matches yours while at the same time hoping to see another player fail because you don't share his values is hypocritical at best, shameful at most.






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