Taking a Knee

OK, so Tim Tebow got thrown to the Lions. But they didn’t have to pray over their meal.

Understand, I’m not bitter – much – about the Broncos’ recent 45-10 loss to the Lions. Detroit’s on fire and we’re … well, the Broncos. It’s not pretty but it’s what happens.

I can tolerate Detroit’s stomping of Tim Tebow into the ground as part of the game. Sorry, Team Tim folks, but right now, he seems to be  a great halfback who has a long way to go as a playcaller.

I can even take a certain amount of mockery as the price of admission. We’ve both given and received any time the Raiders come to town and to a lesser degree when they haven’t. Some of it’s clever, some of it’s juvenile, all of it’s inevitable.

But when Detroit starting “Tebowing,” I think they crossed a line.

For the unfamiliar – what, about 17 of you, max? – “Tebowing” is the verb form for the prayer position our quarterback periodically takes on the field. Drop a knee before the game, after a score, whenever. It’s not what I’d do personally – probably that old Sunday School lesson about praying on street corners stuck a little hard – but he’s a grownup and if that’s how he chooses to express his faith, fine.

Detroit making fun of it on the field? Not so fine.

One opposing player assumed the position after a score, another after a sack. Both were clearly yanking the chain – even while trying to make it clear that they weren’t, you know, dissing anybody.

“It was no disrespect to Tebow,” linebacker Stephen Tulloch said afterward. “I was able to get him and had a little fun with it.”

I’m not convinced. Actions speak louder. And this one seemed pretty clear.

Some things you just don’t do.

I’m not saying there should be a penalty or a fine or anything like that. I’ve always stood up for free speech, even when it’s stupid speech. But I am saying grown-up players should know better, should be able to act better.

A person’s faith, if they take it seriously, represents an open expression of their deepest heart. Mocking that expression, when it’s doing no harm to me and thee, lacks class, lacks judgment, lacks the kind of sensitivity that allows one human being to live peaceably with another.

If Tebow’s not offended, I give him points for patience and understanding. But the point is, there shouldn’t have been anything to be patient about.

Things have cooled down since (literally, with a snowstorm blowing outside as I write this). Hopefully, everyone can apologize, nod and move on without a repetition. Even a high school player would understand that much.

Sack him if you can. Stop him if you will. I won’t like it as a fan, but I know it’s what you do and what we’d do if we could.

But leave the rest on the sidelines.

When it comes to this kind of thing, there should be no kneed.

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