Dave Zirin, the liberal sports writer for the left-wing Nation magazine, suggested Tim Tebow’s pro-life views and public embrace of his Christian faith made him a “polarizing” figure and was promptly corrected by the vice president of the Nielsen Sports Group.
On ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Tuesday, when asked why Tebow was polarizing, Zirin said part of it has to with his ability as a quarterback. He then said there is an anti-Tebow sentiment in segments of the country because Tebow is a “religious figure in a country that is uncomfortable talking [about] religion” and then said Tebow’s benign pro-life Super Bowl ad in 2010 with his mother before he played a down in the NFL made him polarizing. Zirin compared Tebow to figures like Jerry Falwell.
“When you do a Super Bowl ad for Focus on the Family before you’ve played one down in the NFL, you’re going to be polarizing,” Zirin said.
Steve Master, of Nielsen, then interjected and said, “Actually, the numbers don’t play out as him being as polarizing as you think.” He said according to his group’s research and surveys, 83% of those who knew Tebow really liked Tebow, and only 17% did not have a favorable opinion of him.
“Wow,” Zirin said.
Master emphasized, “It’s not as polarizing as you think.”
“You missed my house,” Zirin said, semi-jokingly, at the end of the segment.
Master first said there was more buzz around Tebow than anyone on the Jets last year even though Tebow did not play and emphasized “people love to chat and talk about him.”
The “polarizing” ad Zirin referenced was about a mother’s decision not to abort her child who turned out to be Tim Tebow, which can be seen below: