Ah, the media double standard. When a NFL player kneels in protest, it’s considered “unifying,” according to MSNBC. When Tim Tebow kneels in prayer, NBC calls it “polarizing.”
While the NFL outrage poured in on all fronts over the weekend, resulting in mass protests among football players that were heavily encouraged by both the media and liberal celebrities, it’s interesting to note that about six years ago, these same outlets bashed quarterback Tim Tebow for kneeling on the field in prayer.
In 2015, NBC’s Matt Lauer called Tebow “one of the most popular and polarizing quarterbacks in NFL history.” But that’s just some of the nicer things the media has aimed at Tebow for daring to flaunt his Christianity on a public platform.
In 2012, the always classy Chelsea Handler said that if she dated Tebow, it would be “reverse rape.” CBSChicago.com called Tebow “little more than an affable simpleton” earlier that same year. And when the New York Jets hired Tebow, Nation sports editor Dave Zirin accused them of “moving backwards 30 or 40 years” because LGBT fans didn’t like Tebow.
There wasn’t even a real controversy perpetrated by Tebow. He didn’t commit a crime or protest. CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel said in 2011 that if “Tebow had more class he’d just kill dogs or get drunk and run over somebody and maybe end their life.” The stream of unjustified hate was unending.
It still is. The Washington Post’s Michael Frost described the split between Tebow and Kaepernick as representative of the split in Christianity. He said, “It feels as though the church is separating into two versions, one that values personal piety, gentleness, respect for cultural mores, and an emphasis on moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, and another that values social justice, community development, racial reconciliation, and political activism.”
And while Frost pointed out that people have labelled Kaepernick a traitor, he ignored the media’s hateful outrage pointed at Tebow. When the pro-life ad featuring Tebow aired at the Superbowl in 2010, the media was angered and showed it.
While the ad showcased Tebow’s mom as a woman who did not have an abortion, even though she was advised to for health reasons, pro-choice celebrities found something to attack. The View co-host Joy Behar said that even though Tebow turned out a success, “he could just as easily become some kind of rapist pedophile ...There are others who decide to [commit abortion], and they’re glad that they did it.”
The media will praise Kaepernick because liberal public activism is always encouraged as a part of the media’s agenda. But simply act the part of a pious Christian, then you will be deemed “polarizing” and “simple.”