Religion In Sports: Does it Belong?

December 12, 2011

Political Theory

Throughout the past couple of years there has been a lot of talk about the presence of god, and religion in    sports. Recently this issue has come to the forefront, with the incredible play of a devout Christian, Tim     Tebow (Quarterback for the Denver Broncos). Over the past 6 weeks Tebow has lead his team to a remarkable      turnaround,and placed them in the driver seat to win their division and make the playoffs. On the surface, thisjust seems like another feel good story. A collegiate standout, gets overlooked by a lot of analysts and teams,but with copious amounts of hard-work and dedication he overcomes the odds and instantly becomes and NFL star. The problem is that this specific case is different, and there has been endless amounts of conversation        regarding how this is happening. 

In case you have not been following Tebow over the past 6 weeks let me give you a quick recap of what has      transpired. Tebow has brought his team from behind week after week in the 4th quarter and led them to victory. Over the first 3 quarters of each of the games Tebow has struggled mightily, but in the 4th quarter when the   game is on the line Tebow has made a complete 180. He has been nothing short of spectacular and this           spectacular play, and truly unbelievable comebacks have raised many questions about the place in
religion in sports. 

As I mentioned earlier Tebow is a devout Christian, and has credited his faith and the lord for a lot of his   success. Since he was a college standout Tebow has always openly prayed during games, and thanked the lord
numerous times in his post game speeches. Because of Tebow's incredible success in the NFL this issue of       weather or not religion has a place in professional sports has come to the fore front. On Saturday December    10th,Frank Bruni published an article in the New York Times titled "Time Tebow's Gospel of Optimism".The       article starts off by saying "CAN God take credit for the victories of a thick-set N.F.L. quarterback who      scrambles in a weirdly jittery fashion, throws one of the ugliest balls in the game, completes fewer than half of his passes and has somehow won six of his team’s last seven games?"(New York Times). The rest of the article bounces back and forth between Tebow's football abilities and his faith, and Bruni touches on the exact issue that I raise today. To read the complete article click on this link:                                     
Throughout history religion has always been in the forefront of controversy when dealing with politics.        Recently the question of religion has made its way to a multi billion dollar entertainment industry;           professional sports. So next time Tim Tebow, or our own Denard Robinson scores a touchdown and immediately     drops to one knee to pray what will be going through your mind?


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One Comment on “Religion In Sports: Does it Belong?”

  1. Patrick Biondi Says:

    For some reason I can’t read your whole comment but I’m assuming that you’re asking if there should be religion in sports.

    I’m a huge Tim Tebow fan because I think he defines what it means to be a competitor and a leader. Also the man knows how to win and that is what sports are about. If they weren’t then they wouldn’t keep score. Merril Hodge and John Elway can say whatever they want, but Tebow is a winner.

    The part that frustrates me about Tim Tebow is that he pushes his religious views on other people. I feel that he is crossing that line where everytime he makes a good play or wants his team to do well he prays. And don’t get me wrong I believe in God and I pray often, I just don’t make a huge scene out of it. A perfect example of what I think is acceptable in terms of religion in sports is Troy Polamalu. He recently was said to be the most religious man in football, but I bet if you asked the general public they would have said Tim Tebow. Apparently, Polamalu prays before every play, but what he doesn’t do is drop down to one knee with his fist on his forehead.

    So to answer your question, I do think that religion does have a role and should be in sports. Many people refer to their faith and believe that God, or whomever they pray to, will help them get through the good times and bad. I for one like to pray before each game and it has just become habit. I think Tebow goes over the line with it and it is downplaying religion in sports.

    Here is some comic relief that my friends and I like to watch about Tim Tebow:

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