(UPDATED 1/15/2012- After several conversations and research, parts of this article have been edited to become more clear and accurate)
“It Gets Better” is a project that was started by newspaper editor and journalist, Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller. The project was created as a way to prevent the massive amount of teenage suicides brought on by bullying because they were gay. Many celebrities, athletes and MLB teams have signed on to the project to stand up to bullying and for the rights of LGBT Americans, especially those who are younger. Savage and his husband tried to get the Denver Bronocs and star quarterback Tim Tebow to do the same, but like other NFL teams, they declined.
The former Florida Gator Tim Tebow has received the attention of the entire country over the last few months with come from behind wins and non-stop talk about his religion. Over the years, Tebow has made it very clear where he stands with his religious beliefs and he has become a major topic unlike any other athlete in history. His fans and the media have made Tim Tebow the topic of conversation from sun rise to sun set, so while seeing his popularity rise, the “It Gets Better” project tried to benefit from his popularity to endorse their project against bullying. Getting someone who is identified with the Christian religion to speak out against the bullying of LGBT teens would open a lot of eyes, the problem is that the Denver Broncos and their star player won’t sign the pledge. It’s not that hard to dig back into the past to find out why a team with Tim Tebow as their leader won’t endorse a project that stands up for LGBT civil rights.
While Tim Tebow has not publicy spoke out against same-sex marriage and LGBT equality, he has worked with anti-gay and anti-choice extremist group, “Focus on the Family.’ In 2010, Tebow appeared in an anti-choice video for the radical conservative group. Not much is actually known publicy about Tebow and his thoughts on LGBT equality because the subject is off limits as was noted by Washington Post writer, Sally Quinn. Focus on the Family is very critical of equality in the LGBT community and has even stated on the record that there is “no evidence” that gays and lesbians are discriminated against in society. While Tebow’s stance on LGBT equality is questionable, his positon on women’s rights is crystal clear.
Tebow’s mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. With the drugs that were used to fight the infection and to bring her back from the coma, the doctors recommended an abortion. Living in the Philippines where abortions were illegal, Tebow’s mother chose not to have an abortion and the fetus survived. With this history, it’s understandable how Tebow could be someone who has a pro-life stance. However, though his mother was lucky enough to survive the birth of her son, the majority of women wouldn’t be. For every woman who lucks out and is still breathing after defying doctors orders, many more pass away along with the fetus. While one could pat Tebow on the back for standing up for “life”, he is really standing up for a “luck.”
To truly understand why Tebow thinks the way he does by holding anti-choice views, you have to go even further back than we have. Tim Tebow, along with all of his siblings, were home schooled by their deeply conservative religious parents. While home-schooling is effective for certain children, it could shelter them by only surrounding them with the views their parents want them to have. With Tebow constantly getting drilled into his head the talking points and logic of the radical far right, it was impossible for him to get a fair education. If you let children be around other children, they can interact with people of different races, religions, beliefs and sexual orientations. Tim Tebow was only surrounded by who his conservative parents wanted him to be around. Tebow was then allowed to play football for his local school, but it still didn’t give him the feel of being around his peers day in and day out.
Tim Tebow is an interesting figure. He can run, barely throw and without a big defensive, good running back and a kicker who can nail 60 yard field goals, Tebow wouldn’t be winning games. Tebow gets the attention he gets because he won in college, has a big smile and fits the mold of what America thinks a “moral” person should be. One could ask if Tebow was Jewish would he still get the attention he does? What if he was Muslim, Buddhist or even an atheist? Tim Tebow might mean well, but some of his actions are just a reflection of what the radical right-wing wants people to be. To accuse Tim Tebow of being against LGBT rights might be going too far because he has never said anything to the fact publicly, but sometimes saying nothing says more.