Sports fan or not, it’s likely that you know the name Tim Tebow. It’s also probably likely that you know he’s a man of strong Christian faith.
The former NFL quarterback-turned minor league baseball player has always been intentional about putting God first and sports second. And let’s just be honest, the man has a heart of GOLD.
Of course, it hasn’t always been butterflies and daisies for Tebow to openly express his faith, but he knows that he’s been given a platform to make Christ’s name known.
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team is apologizing to Tebow this week after the team organized a variety of ways to mock the player and his Christian faith, while hosting his team (New York Mets Class A Affiliate) the Columbia Fireflies for a three-game series.
The trolling started with the playing of an infamous clip where Tebow was seen crying after Florida’s 2009 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
Then Charlie, the RiverDogs’ mascot, joined the “fun” by sporting eye black with Tebow’s motivational “John 3:16” scribbled on it—something that literally summed up the former Heisman Trophy winner’s football career.
Charlie was later seen “Tebowing” on the field—poking fun at the way Tebow often used to drop to one knee and pray on the football field.
— Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus) June 18, 2017
And with each Columbia hitter that came to the plate, the scoreboard reminded fans that not every player on the roster is Tim Tebow.
All of the antics were widely spread across the RiverDogs’ social media to ensure the mockery was seen by as many people as possible.
The team swears that their approach was all in good fun. But fans and those in attendance weren’t impressed by the “jokes.”
“Classless…” one Twitter user commented. “Guy brings in the 3 biggest crowds of your year – and you mock him relentlessly including his religion? Classless!”
Another suggested some harsh punishment for whoever decided to approve the game’s entertainment:
RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols released a statement to the post, apologizing to anyone who may have been offended by the team’s “fun.”
“While we believe that our promotions were poking fun at Mr. Tebow’s celebrity status rather than his religion or baseball career, our intent was not to offend anyone, and for the fact that we did offend, we are sorry.”
“Of the many promotional pieces that we executed, there were a handful on Friday’s game that some construed as in poor taste, and we made it a focus to remove those elements and celebrate Mr. Tebow the remainder of his time in Charleston.”
To no one’s surprise, Tim Tebow has remained cool and kept to himself about the mockery that unfolded in the holy city.