Tebow Jesus, Tim Tebow fans have created custom jerseys that feature the name “Jesus” displayed above the Denver Broncos quarterback’s number. While some say the shirts are simply a way to honor the proudly Christian player, others are speaking out against the divine comparison.
“It’s making Tebow out to be a God instead of an athlete,” one person told the Christian Post. “I’m happy he’s a Christian and isn’t afraid to demonstrate that, but for fans to hold him up in such high regard, perhaps comparing him to Jesus, is going too far.”
But in a recent post on Cafe Mom’s “The Stir,” blogger Jacqueline Burtargues that the shirts are harmless:
“I know Tim Tebow fans are loyal with a capital … who am I kidding, they’re LOYAL in all caps. So I guess if you’re a true Tebow supporter, altering the jersey of the NFL quarterback for the Broncos to read “Jesus” instead of “Tebow,” wouldn’t seem over-the-top. Particularly since the QB is so emphatically Christian…”
Earlier this year, the former University of Florida player knelt in prayer on the field, unintentionally starting a new trend and giving birth to an internet phenomenon known as “Tebowing.” In 2010, Tebow appeared with his mother in a “Focus On The Family” television commercial aired during the Super Bowl. As a quarterback for the Gators, he was known to inscribe Bible passages on his eye black.
Still, the phenomenon of Jesus on Tebow’s jersey is troubling for some observers of the role of religion in sports. “The appearance of the name “Jesus” on the nameplate of a Broncos no. 15 jersey clearly continues — escalates, really — the ongoing deification of Tim Tebow,” wrote Tom Krattenmaker, author of Onward Christian Athletes in an email to The Huffington Post. “These jerseys amount to a trivialization of the Christian faith that ought to disturb serious Christians. I hope Tebow insists on a product recall.”