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Willie Richardson / May 14, 2021

White Privilege and Tim Tebow

A tale of two former NFL quarterbacks illustrates an important social lesson.

The only reason Tim Tebow is getting a chance at a contract with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars is because he has less melanin in his skin. No, it’s not because his former college coach is the head coach with the Jaguars. No, it’s not because he’s playing a different position at tight end that the Jaguars actually need. No, it’s not because he’s been preparing for this opportunity to happen. It’s simply because he is “white” like white bread.

I know you’re wanting more to the story, but that’s it. Be white and get an opportunity and it’s because you’re white. Be black and get an opportunity and it must be because you’re the best thing since sliced “white” bread. To make matters worse in a social justice warrior way, Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a contract.

Okay, so my sarcasm should be obvious by now.

So, what does Kaepernick have to do with Tebow? Nothing. One puts character over color, while the other puts color over everything. Nonetheless, the media experts and fans have a problem with Tebow getting an opportunity. Well, there’s one former NFL player who has something to say about it all.

Jimmy Smith, one of the best players to ever play for the Jacksonville Jaguars, said Wednesday that when it comes down to Kaepernick or Tebow, the team needs the latter. Smith, who played 11 seasons in Jacksonville and recorded 862 catches for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns, said he hoped Tebow would make the 53-man roster.

Smith says he fears someone like Kaepernick would divide the locker room. “We don’t need Colin Kaepernick on our team,” the former NFL great said. “We need a guy like Tim Tebow who’s a hometown hero who has love for the city anyway.”

Smith denied there were any racial connotations behind the Jaguars’ reported decision to work out Tebow and then potentially give him a one-year contract at the tight end position. He added that Tebow has the potential to be a valuable addition for rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the number one pick in the NFL Draft.

“He’s going to be a great support for Trevor Lawrence,” Smith said. “Whatever capacity that is, it’s going to be a positive rather than a negative.”

There’s one other angle here. Tebow, like Kaepernick, is famous for taking a knee to profess his personal views. However, in Tebow’s case, it was often following a touchdown or other in-game achievement — and he kneeled in thanks to God for the blessing of athletic talent, rather than to make a social or political statement. Said differently, Tebow took a knee for his faith in God; Kaepernick kneeled for his faith in greed. Kaepernick was used as a social justice god and it got him paid lucratively.

As far as I’m concerned, Kaepernick is irrelevant. But here’s a salute to Tebow for following his dream to return to the NFL. The league needs Tebow way more than Tebow needs it. Touchdown.

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