By: Ashley Conley
Tim Tebow has a host of haters. Maybe it’s because he failed to become a pro sensation after displaying one of the greatest college football careers of all time; maybe it’s because he played in only 35 games over his five-year career in the NFL and didn’t live up to the potential of a first round draft pick (he was selected 25th overall in 2010); maybe it’s because he’s now participating in a second professional sport – baseball – and people think he only got a spot on the Gulf Coast League Mets because he’s Tim Tebow and not because he’s actually decent at the game.
Or maybe it’s because he’s a regular on television screens nationwide as a SEC Network broadcaster, an author (on the New York Times Best Sellers list), a very open Christian and one heck of a charitable man with his own profoundly successful foundation that benefits children around the world. Apparently, people love to hate amazing humans.
Since Tebow made his baseball debut with the Mets organization last week, he’s been all over the news and social media channels. There are those that embrace his efforts:
LOL at people trashing Tim Tebow. Guy went pro in 2 sports, is an analyst for SEC Network, & makes millions. What are u doing w/ your life?
— Dr. Chuck O’Beast (@ChuckOBeast) March 8, 2017
Tim Tebow should be one of the biggest role models in sports and people view him as a joke. This world is embarrassing sometimes.
— Nathan Belluardo (@Nate_Bell01) March 8, 2017
I’m disappointed at how Tim Tebow gets piled on about everything he does. We could all benefit from taking a page out of his book.
— Sebastian Piscuskas (@SeaBass912) March 8, 2017
And there are those that wish he’d disappear from the sports industry once and for all.
Is Tim Tebow getting his 1st spring training hit really news? Should that be scrolling across the bottom of my TV? Here let me help you. NO
— Carl Dukes (@putemupcdukes) March 14, 2017
I’m done pretending that I like Tim Tebow. The guy thinks the Earth is 15,000 years old and sucks at baseball
— Payton Price (@TennesseePayton) March 10, 2017
For a guy who sucks at everything Tim Tebow sure gets a lot of press coverage.
— Nathaniel Friedman (@freedarko) March 8, 2017
Whether you love him or hate him (or just dislike him), you have to admit that Tebow’s humanitarian qualities are second to none.
Most recently, Tebow hosted a Celebrity Gala and Golf Classic. The Classic has raised over $7 million dollars over the last five years to benefit a handful of charities including W15H Program (Tebow’s wish-granting foundation), Timmy’s Playrooms (a section of Tebow’s foundation dedicated to building playrooms in children’s hospitals), Tebow CURE Hospital (a hospital opened by Tebow in the Philippines), Orphan Care and Adoption Aid (which helps children who have been left homeless or abandoned), and Night to Shine.
In February, Tebow’s 2017 Night to Shine created an “unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older,” according to the charities website. A whopping 75,000 people with special needs attended the event made possible by 150,000 volunteers and Tebow himself.
Wow. Just wow.
Tebow’s minor league stint hasn’t been all that great thus far. In five games, he batted 3-for-14 and struckout four times. Check out the crowd reaction to his first-career hit:
— The Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) March 13, 2017
But the social media reaction to everything else has been subpar.
Tim Tebow is the Kim K of sports …………………………………………………………………
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 11, 2017
Tim Tebow strikes out in 4 pitches in his first spring training at bat. Tonight on SportsCenter: why this means he’s MLB Hall of Fame bound.
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) March 8, 2017
Just imagine a world where MLB promoted actually good baseball players like they promote Tim Tebow.
— Randy Holt (@RandallPnkFloyd) March 15, 2017
I’m watching Tebow’s at bat and I really can’t stop laughing. He looks so stiff
— NAIA Baseball Probz (@NAIABaseballPro) March 8, 2017
I’m a Tebow fan. I’m not sure if I’ve seen an athlete who works harder than this guy does. The best part is that he’ll do whatever it takes to achieve his dream, even when the world is against him. In 2008, the Florida Gators were defeated by Ole Miss 31-30. Tebow, the starting quarterback, gave this speech following the game. The Gators went on to win the BCS National Championship.
Everyone wants to see tim tebow fail. Why are you knocking a guy who’s just chasing his dream? At least he’s trying. #respect
— jack (@iamjack11) March 8, 2017
So, the next time you degrade Tebow for what he does (or doesn’t do) on the field, just remember what he’s already accomplished and what he does off the field, because I’m sure it’s more than most people will accomplish in their entire lives – and he’s not even 30 yet.
Cover Image: esquire.com
Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.