Monday, September 17, 2012

Religion In Sport

If you have watched an NFL game, or even turned on your television for that matter, in the past two years, you most likely know Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow has become the most popular professional sports figure of this era. The reason for his unparalleled infinite amount of popularity and support from people all over the world does not stem from his football skills, athletic ability, will to win, or good looks for that matter. It is because of his faith and religion. Religion has always been a part of sport but perhaps has never drawn as much attention as it does in today’s world of sport, which is largely due to the arrival of what is now a household name, Tim Tebow.
Religion in sport is nothing new and has been, in some aspects of sport, a tradition or ritual for pre-game preparation. While a pre-game prayer is common among most sports, most aspects of religion in sport have been just that, off the field expressions of personal beliefs that help prepare an individual get ready for battle and competition. Not until Tim Tebow has religion been so strongly associated within sport both on and off the field and expressed so deliberately without any hesitation. Tim Tebow’s faith and religion pours out of him in everything he says and does both on and off the field. From quoting the Bible at tough times in a game to helping motivate coaches and teammates, to singing gospel songs while playing, Tebow expresses his religion continuously throughout competition. In the past the most obvious expression of religion in sport, particularly in football, has been taking a knee to pray after scoring a touchdown. This simple idea of taking a knee for a quick prayer after scoring has been overlooked in the past, but is now tagged as “Tebowing.” It’s amazing to see something that has been part of the game for decades and done by hundreds of athletes turn into such a worldwide phenomenon associated with just one player - Tim Tebow.
Tim Tebow’s faith and passion for expressing his religious views have been embraced by most Americans. People admire him for maintaining and expressing his strong faith while competing in a violent and physical sport such as football. Tebow’s strong expression of religion in sport is the beginning --- a beginning of a new era of religion in sport that will have an affect on all sports and athletes and the way they express their religion on the playing field.
Suggested Reading:
Tim Tebow: Through My Eyes. Tim Tebow & Nathan Whitaker; 2011.


  1. The publicity that Tim Tebow has received from his openness about his faith and religion is overwhelming. He is constantly in the public eye, and people are just waiting for him to do something wrong so he can be made an example of. I think that sometimes he is criticized more harshly just because he is so open about his faith. The people who complain about him being open with his faith need better things to worry about, but that’s just my opinion. What Tim Tebow believes and practices isn’t to put a show on for anybody, it is strictly for himself. You don’t usually see too many people complaining about NFL players saying a cuss word that gets caught on TV, so why should there be an uproar when a player wants to say a quick prayer? The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion. It is our own personal choice if we want to express that or not, but it should not offend you because someone else chooses to say a prayer in your presence.

  2. There is no doubt that Tim Tebow’s presence in, not only the Nation Football League, but sports as a whole and the influence that he has had is nothing short of amazing. The publicity that he has received for his beliefs has put him on a pedestal in the public eye and has created an enormous responsibility to live up to. And I completely agree that this will lead to nothing but positive outcomes in a world that needs role models like Tim Tebow.
    With that being said I would like to remind everyone that an individual has already implemented religion into the professional world. Reggie White (1961-2004) played in the NFL for fifteen seasons with his most memorable times being with the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. White was just as open about his religion in everything he did, as is Tebow. He was not only a dominating force on the field but also a force in spreading the word of God. He would hold prayer groups and bible studies in the days prior to his games with not only his teammates but players from opposing teams as well as famously holding a prayer session after every game, no matter the outcome, to anyone willing to participate. Tim Tebow has carried on a belief of spreading the word that White started back in the 90’s through his status as an NFL star.

  3. I believe that what Tim Tebow does by showing and living out his faith in Christ on a worldwide scale is a great thing. He is a great example of what it is supposed to look like to follow after Christ and truly live for Him. I do think that Tebow’s faith has changed many people’s views of him and taken a lot of the focus off of everything that he has done as a football player. I believe that many people have forgotten and maybe never knew that Tebow was one of the best players coming out of his 2006 high school recruiting class. As a true freshmen in 2006 Tebow came in and got snaps and competed for time with a returning starter and established player at Florida in Chris Leak. In 2007 Tebow won the Heisman trophy award and finished his collegiate careers with two national championships, and 5 NCAA records. I think it is great that Tebow is known for his faith, but we should not forget that he was one of the greatest college quarterbacks to ever play the game.