Today we are going to talk about the public’s reaction to religious dogma with athletes Lolo Jones and Tim Tebow as the main focus.
Religion is a funny topic in today’s society as it seems to grow more and more unpopular as the years fly by. In the past when you had someone going on and on about their piety, it was praised (no pun intended) as a way that we should be living our lives. Now we have a stronger push against religious sects, often time revealing the dark, ugly side of them which is not limited to violent homophobia, intolerance, slavery, manipulation, and exploitation.
Christians of today are much more quiet and reserved than the ones I had to tolerate growing up (bear with me). To speak your mind against certain things that they believed in or to argue logic against their faith would lead to a blitzkrieg of holy-rollers ready to stone you for questioning the black book that they were raised on. Now it’s quite the opposite.
A few athletes that have come out as Paladins for their faith have received the harshest of treatment by the media and fans. Quarterback Tim Tebow led the charge coming out of Florida as the avatar of Christian purity in a muscular package.
He was everything that popular culture despises: passionate, confident, way too nice, and uttering bible passages and tenets in every other interview. People wanted him to fail – this symbol of white Jesus and his homophobic book of judgment – but Tebow just kept on succeeding (arguably).
The name Tebow became a joke, a curse you put on other Fantasy Football owners, and even a meme (remember Tebowing?) Now after a semi-successful stint as the starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos, voted in by his fans; the “people’s champ” was drafted to the New York Jets where his haters hope he will rot away on the bench.
“Overhyped, unproven, virgin Lolo Jones”
Seemingly out of the loop on the topic of Christian unpopularity, Olympic hurdler Lori “Lolo” Jones became the huge talk of the town after tripping over a hurdle in the Beijing Olympics of 2008 and narrowly missing out on a medal. The biracial beauty was a hot topic for the media given her brutal upcoming as a child to a single mother of 6 and her tale of overcoming the odds.
Lolo has been very upfront about her Christian beliefs in a way that turned off many people who just didn’t want to hear it. Her marketing team did a fabulous job of making her as a household name and it allowed for even more people to hear her gospel.
To say that Lolo had a few haters was an understatement and when she revealed that she was a virgin (very much like Tim Tebow) people took it as her snubbing her pretty little nose at the fornicating heathens.
Lolo became America’s sweetheart going into the 2012 Olympics where she placed a disappointing 4th and then the floodgates flew open. Teammates of the track star spared no pretense in mocking her in interviews; Twitter came at her with pitchforks and flaming torches; and even reputable News sources such as the New York Times found opportunistic ways to compare her to a talentless Barbie.
It leads to us having to ask… if Lolo and Tebow were quiet about their beliefs, virginity and history, would we all be so out for blood for them as we are now? I am going to say no, it is all about religion and it should be a warning to any up and coming athletes that it is better to save the bible beating for when you have the gold (or Heisman) in hand and have already proven that you are a champion.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.