Faith-based Website: New Tebow GQ Controversy Illustrates QB’s “Disarming” Faith

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Tebow’s faith is still a hot-button issue for fans and foes alike, says faith-based website, followme.org.

Tim Tebow withstands critics with "courage and boldness," says faith-based website, followme.org.

That statement comes today as men’s magazine, GQ, announced it will prominently feature a story on Tim Tebow in September’s “NFL Preview” issue.

As soon as GQ made that announcement and released the article on its website, the Tebowmania-inspired uproar ensued. What did it this time? A controversial picture of Tebow posing “shirtless as Jesus Christ on the cross, legs crossed and arms outstretched,” according to Fox News.

Tebow, 25, shares the September cover with Carolina Panthers stand-out quarterback, Cam Newton, according to CBS News, New York. The controversial photo appears in a spread inside the magazine.

New York City sports radio host, Craig Carton, was one of the first to respond to Tebow’s “sexy Jesus” photo shoot. “He gets it, he plays the role,” Carton said on his show on Tuesday morning, according to Fox News. “He’s typically very, very sincere and very, very consistent about who he is and what his beliefs are. You just saw a little inkling into what he thinks of himself.”

But what Carton overlooks, Fox News reports, is that this photo is a recycled one from a previous GQ shoot. In September 2009, the magazine featured a series of photos of Tebow, shirtless, posing in the University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The photo in question first appeared in that shoot, according to Fox News.

However, for this new GQ shoot, editors have digitally altered the photograph to fit Tebow’s new surroundings in New York. Editors removed the Florida Gator insignia from the photo and changed the color photograph to a black-and-white one, thus altering the color of Tebow’s bright-blue Gator uniform, according to Fox News.

So what does GQ mean by reusing Tebow’s eyebrow-raising photo? Are they taking it as seriously as media commentators?

GQ writer, Devin Gordon, says that interviewing Tebow at a mini-camp press session earlier this summer was the inspiration for his article, “Have You Accepted Tim Tebow as Your QB and Sunday Savior?” The article contains Gordon’s reflections as a Jets fan reluctant to jump into Tebowmania and the efforts by some to “turn the NFL into the next front of the culture war,” he writes in the article.

Others argue that Tebow’s GQ controversy speaks to a larger issue: Is faith welcome in professional sports? Faith-based website, followme.org, says that the backup QB’s latest controversy shows how ready the media is to attack players like Tebow.

“Tebow is a guy who can’t seem to do anything right in the eyes of the media. He professes his faith with courage and boldness, and we attack him. He lets someone else write a story about him and use an old photograph, and he is lambasted. Authentic religious faith is rare and, frankly, disarming—Tebow reminds us of that, fans and foes alike,” said Pastor Jamie of followme.org.

Devin Gordon, the GQ writer who profiles Tebow, seems to say as much. Still, he admits to his readers: “It’s easy to be a hater from afar. The closer you get, the harder it gets.”

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Jeff White
FollowMe.org
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