Football star and humanitarian Tim Tebow showed an exemplary Christian response and sportsmanship as he graciously accepted the decision made Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly over the weekend not to include him in the team's roster this season.
On his Twitter account (@TimTebow), the dedicated Christian athlete wrote, "Thanks @Eagles and Coach Kelly for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love! Romans 8:28 #Blessed"
Tebow's kind words and gratitude amid a personal setback earned him the respect not only of his fans but also of sports pundits. David Whitley from the Orlando Sentinel could not help but admire Tebow and wished that Tebow's fans would take his lead.
Whitley shared a statement provided by a die-hard Tebow fan on social media after the NFL player got cut: "Amazing how the NFL will allow woman beaters, drug addicts, multiple DUI offenders or even murders and paedophiles but we still can't allow religion in. It isn't about Tebow's skill set because he can play with anyone. It's his religion that's keeping him out. Time to wake up America."
"That was the typical Internet post. If you've read it once, you've read them 3.2 billion times," commented Whitley. "I'd ask the diehards to stop, but blind devotion makes for polarisation."
Whitley said he shared the same sentiments felt by other Tebow fans, adding that he does believe the NFL "bent over backwards" to employ Tebow.
"Call me a sap, but I like to see good things happen to humble, clean-living and charitable human beings," he said. "He [Tebow] worked like a maniac to improve his passing. It was better this preseason, but not good enough to become a third-team quarterback."
Kelly acknowledged this but still let Tebow go: "Tim's really progressed, but we didn't feel like he was good enough to be the No. 3 right now."
After he was waived by the Eagles, Tebow was not picked up by any team on Sunday.
Tebow made a strong case for the Philadelphia Eagles' No. 3 quarterback job by throwing two touchdown passes in the preseason finale on Thursday night.
Tebow completed 11 of 17 passes for 189 yards with one interception and added 32 rushing yards on four carries as the Eagles fell to the New York Jets 24-18 in MetLife Stadium.
"I'm not going to worry about what I can't control," Tebow said Thursday night after the game. "It's a blessing being able to come out here and play this game that I love. It was a lot of fun out there tonight. It was a blast."