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Couch: If loving Tim Tebow is wrong, I don’t want to be right

Op-ed
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It takes some sort of cynicism to hate on Tim Tebow. I don't understand it. I don't identify with it. People keep waiting for him to do something wrong, but all he has done in the 15 years since we've known him is try hard, respect others, be a good person, and publicly profess a love of God.

Somehow, things have gotten so messed up that that message does not sit well with a lot of people on Twitter, on ESPN, or wherever else bogus social justice sells. To me, Tebow is an American hero.

Tebow was cut Tuesday by the Jacksonville Jaguars and his former college coach, Urban Meyer. He will not be a backup tight end earning the NFL league minimum after all.

"Thankful for the highs and even the lows, the opportunities, the setbacks," Tebow wrote on Twitter. "I've never wanted to make decisions out of fear of failure and I'm grateful for the chance to have pursued a dream."

Some of our leading bogus social justice mobsters portrayed him as a gimmick and a fake. When Tebow was given the chance to try out, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN's "First Take" huffed and puffed: "Is this not an example of white privilege? What brother you know is getting this opportunity?"

Jemele Hill of the Atlantic said Tebow was getting an opportunity that Colin Kaepernick never got, with the implication that it was because Tebow is white, Kaepernick black.

And after Tebow was cut, FoxSports1's Shannon Sharpe of "Undisputed" said Meyer had to cut Tebow "to save some credibility and maintain his voice in that locker room … I just hate that somebody missed the opportunity because Urban gave a friend, a former player of his, an opportunity that I don't believe he deserved. Someone else deserved that opportunity but they didn't get it."

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Tebow did nothing wrong here. No one lost a job because of him. He was an obvious and deserving choice for a tryout.

Meyer did nothing wrong, either. No one got hurt. He did not have to save face.

Social justice was supposed to be a positive thing, standing up for people without the power to stand up for themselves. That has crossed over into making villains out of others, where a white man who believes in and serves God is the devil.

This has such anti-religious overtones, casting someone with open religious and charitable beliefs as phony, weird, and cult-like.

Tebow is a former NFL quarterback and great athlete who proved that he could break a tackle. That in itself was reason enough to justify seeing if he could be a third-string tight end.

He is a high-character, inspirational athlete. As the quarterback for the Denver Broncos years ago, it was clear that he didn't have the traditional quarterback skills, the throwing motion or accuracy. Yet he kept finding a way to win at the end.

Why? Because Tebow believes in faith, believes in miracles. And when his teammates stood next to him in the locker room, or on the line of scrimmage with the Broncos needing a touchdown, he made them believe, too.

White privilege? Tebow was a proven winner, a locker room panacea on a Jacksonville team that needed one, a strong, fine-tuned body.

He was not only an obvious choice, but also he surely helped to set the tone of the team in Meyer's first year in Jacksonville.

And the comparison between Tebow and Kaepernick is preposterous. Kaepernick makes a living by playing up to the bogus social justice mob.

After being blackballed in the NFL for not standing for the national anthem, Kaepernick was given another chance eventually. He sabotaged it by not showing up for his tryout. He does not want to play in the NFL, as it would jeopardize his career as a victim.

By contrast, Tebow was not given another shot at quarterback. He was given a chance to try out as a third-string, minimum-salary tight end. He risked embarrassment and humiliation by trying out, especially with the mob telling him he didn't belong and was taking someone else's spot.

If Kaepernick played in the NFL again, he would be championed endlessly no matter how poorly he played. It would be portrayed as a step forward in society. If Tebow had made the Jaguars, he would have been chastised for working hard and trying to do right.

As for Meyer and the Jaguars, well, there was a business decision in there, too. Tebow was a star at the University of Florida while playing for Meyer, and Jacksonville fans were mad that the Jaguars didn't draft him. They were mad again when the Jaguars let the New York Jets get him from Denver.

So Meyer surely was trying to mend fences with his new fan base. But Meyer knows how cutthroat football is and how slim the margin for victory. He would not waste a valuable roster spot on a gimmick.

He gave Tebow a legitimate look and cut him legitimately. Tebow was thankful for the opportunity. It was as simple as that.

So the cynics can celebrate now. But Tebow had the guts to try. He is the perfect storm for the bogus social justice mobsters: a good person, respecting others, taking a chance, and believing in God.

I guess to some people, that's a bad thing. To me, it's heroic.
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