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Dan O'Donnell: A Story About Athletes, A Story About Values

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Every once in a while, a radio commentator provides this writer with fodder for an opinion article. And once in a great while what is said cannot be paraphrased and must be printed as spoken in its entirety. This is such a commentary and here is the complete text: This exceptional commentary was read on WISN this morning by Dan O'Donnell. The text is a MUST READ for Christians and conservatives everywhere.

This is the story of a professional athlete, but it’s not a sports story. It’s a story about American cultural values.

It’s the story of a man, a mediocre athlete, really, who is now looking for his next team. But this isn’t a sports story, because this man is known far more for who he is and what he believes in than anything he’s done on the field.

He speaks his mind about those beliefs, about who he is and for it, he’s derided, called a fanatic, told to keep it to himself. He’s made to be a walking, kneeling joke, with millions teasingly mimicking his prayers in pictures posted all over the internet.

He’s a terrible player, we’re told, so why should we even listen to him? He doesn’t deserve a job in professional sports. He’s just not good enough.

And this week, his naysayers thought they were proven right, when Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets.

This is the story of a professional athlete, but it’s not a sports story. It’s a story about American cultural values.

It’s the story of a man, a mediocre athlete, really , who is now looking for his next team. But this isn’t a sports story, because this man is known far more for who he is and what he believes in than anything he’s done on the court.

This week, he spoke his mind about those beliefs, about who he is, and for it, he’s been lionized, cast as a trailblazer, an American hero who has fielded hundreds of requests for interviews—every single one wanting to hear more about his beliefs, his story, his life. He’s been made to be a living, breathing symbol of courage.

All because this week, Jason Collins told the world he was gay.

This is the story of a professional athlete, but it’s not a sports story. It’s a story about American cultural values.

It’s the story of a man, one of the greatest young quarterbacks in the NFL, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year whose jersey sold more than any other player last year.

But this isn’t a sports story, because this man deserves to be known as much for his courage and beliefs off of the field as his heroism on it.

Because this week, Robert Griffin III tweeted, “In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.”

But that’s a story about American cultural values that hasn’t been told because, well, Robert Griffin III is just a football player, and as such is urged to let his game do the talking. He should shut up and be content to be known more for what he does on the field and not who he is or what he believes.

His story should be a sports story, and that’s it. His views are irrelevant. Football players like him and Tim Tebow should stop trying to impact American cultural values with their shameful proselytizing because, well, their values simply don’t fit with the tyranny of political correctness that seeks to shun them while simultaneously exalting Jason Collins.

Tebow is a Christian, but we shouldn’t care about him off of the field because he hasn’t earned respect on it. Collins is gay, but we shouldn’t care about his performance on the court because of who he is off of it.

Tebow should shut up about his Christianity and go away. Collins needs to speak out about his homosexuality and be remembered forever.

In this supposed land of freedom, that story is in fact the embodiment of the tyranny of political correctness that has hijacked American cultural values; of free expression, of the free exercise of religion, of the openness to and acceptance of differing viewpoints in the public sphere.

That’s the story that needed to be told, it just took three sports stories to finally tell it.

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