Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer recently offered a critique of current Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, not because of the way Tebow plays the game but because of the way Tebow expresses his religious beliefs before, during and after every game. Today Tebow responded.
In an interview on ESPN First Take, Tebow was asked about Plummer saying that he doesn’t need to say he loves Jesus Christ all the time. Tebow responded that, in fact, he does feel the need to say he loves Jesus Christ all the time, and he has no intention of stopping.
“If you’re married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife, I love her, the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have the opportunity? And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Tebow said. “It is the most important thing in my life, so every opportunity I have to tell him I love him, or I’m given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I’m going to take that opportunity.”
There’s a distinction, however, between what Plummer criticized Tebow for and what Tebow responded to. Plummer wasn’t objecting to Tebow saying “I love you” to Jesus. Plummer was objecting to Tebow saying “I love Jesus” to the public, and saying it in just about every public appearance he makes. There’s nothing wrong with a man saying “I love you” to his wife every day, and there’s nothing wrong with a man saying “I love you” when he prays every day. What Plummer was saying is that he doesn’t think Tebow should inject his religious beliefs into a football discussion. Just as Plummer would, presumably, think it a little weird if an NFL player mentioned that he loves his wife in every interview.
But that leads to the next thing Tebow said in his interview — that his love for Jesus is greater than a man’s love for his wife, greater than Tebow’s own love for his family and greater than Tebow’s own love for football, and so it doesn’t matter to Tebow what Plummer thinks. Tebow said his relationship to Jesus is more important than anything else.
“I look at it as a relationship I have with him, I want to give him the honor and glory every time I get the opportunity,” Tebow said. “And then after I give him the honor and glory I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory, and that’s how it works. Because Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates. I respect Jake’s opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner, but I feel like every time I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise he is due for it because what he did for me, and what he did on the cross for all of us. I really appreciate his opinion and I respect him, but I still will give all the honor and glory to the Lord because he deserves it.”
Tebow added that he thinks being a Christian has helped him as a football player “because it gives me a peace beyond all understanding and it gives me a sense of comfort.”
But Tebow did say he has no hard feelings toward Plummer, who has said he thinks it’s great that the Broncos are winning games with Tebow at the helm.
“Thank you,” Tebow reiterated he would say to Plummer, “for the compliment of calling me a winner.”