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Religious right shuns black gay athlete

On April 29, the New York Jets released quarterback Tim Tebow from their roster after only a year on a team. In ironic timing, news almost immediately followed that Jason Collins, a veteran center in the NBA, had become the first active male athlete in a major American team sport to come out as gay.

Collins and Tebow are a study in contrasts, perhaps especially when it comes to their faith. Tebow is known for game-saving theatrics and an equally performative profession of faith politicized by the culture wars. He’s positioned himself as an all-American poster child for the pro-life movement and homophobic groups like Focus on the Family. Collins, on the other hand, is a career role player who keeps his head down on the court and his devout Christian faith, rooted in family and community identity, private.

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