Florida Gator quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is known for being an unconventional college football player. First, he was homeschooled, taking a different route to his success in the NCAA. Second, he is outspoken about his Christian faith. Born in the Philippines while his parents served as missionaries there, Tebow never shies away from sharing his beliefs.
Last week the Christian homeschooler from Florida was able to do something few other star athletes have accomplished: silence a room of reporters. During a press conference, a reporter asked Tebow whether, in being consistent with his Christian faith, he was “saving himself for marriage.” Tebow nonchalantly yet confidently responded, “Yes, I am.” He then calmly called upon another reporter to ask a question. But the reporters at the press conference were obviously so stunned by Tebow’s honest and unapologetic answer, that the next reporter could barely verbalize his question.
Tebow laughed good-naturedly, amused that his honesty could silence a room full of sports reporters. “I think y’all were stunned by that,” he said. “Y’all can’t even ask a question. First time ever. Wow. I mean, I was ready for that question. I don’t think y’all were.”
Perhaps it wasn’t just the content of Tebow’s answer, but the refreshing honesty and clarity with which he responded, that bewildered his audience. He made no apologies, nor did he try to explain himself; he simply answered a straight-forward question with an unequivocal response. But what probably shocked the reporters more than the forthright answer was the fact that a young football star, with the world at his feet, would abide by such an “arcane” set of moral standards—and admit to it.
Tebow’s candor is refreshing, especially coming from a young man who certainly has the fame and success that attract temptations. The cliché about quarterbacks and cheerleaders certainly comes to mind. Instead, Tebow has decided to embrace his role model status by openly sharing his own personal standards regarding his faith and belief about the importance of sexual morality.
Tim Tebow isn’t the only attractive, successful young man to set a higher standard for his life. The Jonas Brothers, the wildly popular singing group of brothers, have also openly shared their commitment to remain pure until married. The brothers’ purity rings have been the topic of much discussion in the last year, particularly since they are the latest teen heartthrobs, with thousands of young girls following their every move.