Time magazine is out with its list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that one NFL player made the cut: Tim Tebow.
On the field, Tebow is merely a backup to the Jets’ starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez. But Tebow’s off-field influence has been incredible, and it’s easy to see why Time chose him. No other person associated with the NFL has the kind of intense fan base, especially among evangelical Christians, that Tebow has.
Jeremy Lin, the New York Knick who is also on the Time list, wrote about Tebow for the magazine.
“He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out,” Lin wrote. “Through his foundation, he constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope. He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.”
Other than Tebow and Lin, the athletes on the Time list all come from outside the United States: Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, South African double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius and Taiwanese professional golfer Yani Tseng.