Was Tim Tebow Traded Because of His Religion and Could He File a Religious Discrimination Suit with the EEOC?

Generally I wouldn’t comment on football trades, but the Tim Tebow trade to the New York Jets caught my attention. About three years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sent a threatening letter to one of the companies I run accusing it of religious discrimination. We had advertised for a customer service rep. One of the applicants was Roman Catholic. We did not hire her. In her mind, we rejected her because of her religion. She went to the EEOC and filed a complaint.

We had to prove that her religion had nothing to do with not hiring her. After about three years of legal wrangling, we were exonerated.

The Denver Broncos under Tim Tebow were raised from the athletic dead. In fact, Tebow and the Broncos beat the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers in a playoff game. The Bronco’s management would be hard pressed to prove that they traded Tebow because of performance issues since he was a backup quarterback who filled in for the injured starter. Prior to Tebow, the Broncos were a losing franchise. Tebow’s late-game performance resulted in higher TV ratings, packed stands, and overall good publicity for the team.

Here’s some of what the EEOC says defines workplace religious discrimination:

Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.

Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group.

I believe Tebow has a case. You and I know that if a Muslim had been traded after high athletic performance levels on the football field and was signaled out for his outspoken but reverent religious faith, that Muslim organizations in America like C.A.I.R would be claiming religious discrimination.

Of course, Tim Tebow doesn’t care that he has been traded or where he’s been traded to. He would never pursue a religious discrimination suit against the Broncos even if he had cause. He’s not a whiner. He goes where God leads him. He trusts in the providence of God. He’s happy doing what he loves doing. Here’s a great Tim Tebow philosophy of life statement:

I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

Words to live by.

But wouldn’t you love to see a religious discrimination suit, just for fun? I know I would.