What If Tim Tebow Were a Muslim (Or Jew, Or Buddhist…)?

What if Tim Tebow were a Muslin or Buddhist or Jew? Would he be getting the support and love he is receiving now from the sports world?

As a devout Christian, Tebow has raised many eyebrows inside and outside the sports world.

People are rooting for him because they like his style of play and because he stands for Conservative principles. (Also, he’s bringing new fans to the sport, though probably not too many, only because so many people are already football fans.)

He has a classic Disneyish story. Detractors, pundits, broadcasters, and all of the above have given their opinion that he won’t make it in the NFL. His college success, two national championships and Heisman trophy award, wouldn’t amount to much in professional football, they’ve said.

First, he was told he was out of position, not fit to be a quarterback. Than he was told his throwing motion was awkward and he ran too much of the time. But now, after a playoff win against the mighty Steelers, he is looking forward to the next Goliath, the New England Patriots.

Most of the Tebow story is about faith, hard work, dedication, and perseverance. So many people can relate to his cause, because these characteristics are necessary in everyday life.

Tebow wouldn’t be Tebow, though, without Christianity. This he admits freely. And, this is where there has been a dividing point for some.

It was hard for the non-religious and atheist types to get on the Tebow bandwagon because religion throws up so many red flags to them. For other religions, like Islam or Judaism, there’s not any other starting quarterback for them to relate to in the NFL, so, these people are left feeling out of the loop.

The controversy of Tebow was his religion, but it may not be any more. It seems his identity has moved past religion and is now accepted by the mainstream media and population as a good-feel story.

His career may parallel this 2011-12 season.

It is highly doubtful that Tebow’s behavior is going to change. He is not going to be in the papers having been stopped for drunk-driving or cursing out a member of the press for their pushiness.

His story is being written now and the only thing that will change it will be his overcoming all the hurdles to win the Super Bowl or not.

Tim Tebow will do many great things in his life, besides playing football. He already is a leader in charitable causes.

He overcame doubters and those willing to knock him for his religious ways.

It’s hard to say how things would have been different if this quarterback from Florida with two championships and a Heisman was a Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist.

There have been famous Muslim and Jewish athletes over time in all the major sports in the U.S., and Tiger Woods is a Buddhist.

Wearing one’s religious beliefs on one’s shirtsleeves is not common in sports, and anybody in Tebow’s position with a different religion could be viewed in a different manner.

He is coming from the plurality and that has helped to propel him. Christianity is the most popular religion in the U.S.

Now, it would seem, he has won over many more fans than just Christian ones.

He is on the best ride ever. Of course, Tebow would tell you that the very best ride is the one to heaven.

Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com

About Howard M Alperin

Husband, Father, Teacher, Planner, Advisor, Counselor, Social Worker, Businessman, Consultant, Blogger, Author, Entrepreneur, Inventor, YMCA Coach, Marketer, Innovator, Advertiser, Promoter, Court Appointed Special Advocate to children, Volunteer, Runner, Athlete, Spanish Speaker, Non-Sports Card Collector, Dog Agility Enthusiast and OIF Veteran.


  1. Steve Thomas says:

    It is refreshing to finally have Christian values demonstrated to the world. For several years in the USA, anything related to God has been removed from our schools and culture. Placing God first is exactly what this country should be praising about Tebow, period.

  2. Steve Thomas is missing the point of this article. If Tebow, or any NFL player for that matter, got down on a knee and said "Praise be to Allah" – we would see how much religious freedom we have in this country.

    • meaning what? He'd be ridiculed? Benched? Fined? Outcast? If he were a Muslim or Jew, etc., he'd probably get death threats and a lot of hate mail (which he probably gets anyway). But the media would NEVER go after him like it does. We DO have religious freedom in this country. And so far as the media is concerned, it will fiercely protect those rights if it's a MINORITY religion only. Muhhamed Ali was more famous AND more polarizing than Tebow was in his day. When he became a Muslim, nobody would go near it with a 10 foot pole. And he was black, loud, self-aggrandizing, a draft dodger, etc. in the 1960's!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The answer to your "What if Tebow was a Muslim…" question is one of my pet peeves. If Tebow were a Jew or a Muslim he wouldn't be such an easy target for the Bill Mahers of the world. It's easy to go after a white Christian male. I'm not a traditional Christian, by the way. But the Tebow phenomenon is very interesting to me. And in my mind it clearly demonstrates the perplexing double standards that white Americans (72% of the population) continue to allow and even to perpetuate. Bill Maher can go after George W (who I can't stand) all he wants. There's no danger in that. He can call Tim Tebow a "deuce bag" without consequences. But if Tebow were a Jew or a Muslim, or the exact same guy – but black??? No chance. Then there'd be hell to pay for such vitriol. Maher had Jay Z on his show a while back and they BOTH literally condoned Jay Z's "old line of work", peddling crack. No context. Not a hint of 'well, you did what you thought you had to do… but it was wrong.' Not at all. Just "the people you had to deal with selling crack were probably easier than the music biz sharks…" Talk about condescension or acquiescence… or just simply gutless journalism (for lack of a better word). But Tebow? Yeah, right. He's the real problem in our society. According to Maher "red neck America couldn't love him more if he were sculpted out of bacon".

    • Bill Maher is a COMEDIAN, not journalist, get over it!! He makes fun of everybody and has had several jokes aimed at several different demographics. Its just his style to point out that the majority (white male Christian) claims to be persecuted, that is a funny thought, isnt it??

  4. Every time Tebow does that, he's trying to convert people – it's not just an innocent "Hey I'm a nice guy and have sincere beliefs" – it's an aggressive thought-control type action – he trying to brainwash kids into thinking that being a crazy religious person is normal and desired. Why must such things be so public? It's among the most obnoxious things you can ever be so unfortunate to encounter.

    Jews do not convert people, unlike extremist fundamentalist Christians – thus they do not feel the need to resort to demonstrative public gestures. But if a non-Christian tried to do this, they would be accused of being a terrorist trying to brainwash our children and there would a right-wing uproar (as what happened when they announced the NYC Muslim center project near ground zero). We have a large number of bigoted Christians in this country who are not interested in religious equality – they want to convert everyone to think just like them. My favorite would be if a satanist made a "Thank you LORD SATAN" gesture every time he made a touchdown?" – Like a Highlander-kinda thing?

    • Nothing against Jews whatsoever, but Jews do other things Christians tend not to do, like refusing to marry non-Jews unless they convert. Some people take issue with that. I don't. Nor do I take issue with what Tebow is doing. I'm not a traditional Christian. But I've read the Bible and it says in NUMEROUS places that Christians should spread the word and that it's their duty. In that sense Tebow would be hypocritical NOT to do what he's doing. BTW, your Muslim analogies don't wash. Tolerance is imperative no matter what the religion. But this country was attacked by militant Muslim terrorists. People like Bin Laden have been out there for years predicting and calling for our demise, and in many cases PLOTTING it. Were that not the case, anti-Muslim sentiment would not be what it is today in the US. No one's freaking out about Buddhists. Tebow doesn't bug me. I think he gets the same kind of criticism Tom Cruise was getting for years. And for what? Being positive? Having too much going for him? Thee are soooooooo many high profile athletes/celebrities people like yourself could be criticizing: rappers, thugish NFL and NBA players, steroid users, boxers like Mayweather, etc. But it's scary to speak out against those types, right? Tebow's easy.

  5. hwpatricia1002 says:

    political correctness at its nauseating worst. Is this a muslim country? Is this a buddhist nation? NO, this is a christian nation and christians identify with tim. Should they not? this very question shows religious bias against christians.

    • First off we are definitely not a christian nation since we are governed by the constitution instead of the bible and the first amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. We are a nation OF christians but that is another thing entirely. I like Tebow because he is a good guy and does what all good people, regardless of religious ideology should do. I just get tired of hearing how wonderful he is while others like Drew Brees does a lot of work in the new orleans area and doesn't get the credit that Tebow does because religion isn't tied to it. I think better of Drew because he isn't looking for a reward but working to make the world a better place while tebow is just doing what he's commanded by his religion.

  6. Muhammad Ali, anyone?

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