Tim Tebow, New York Jets third-string quarterback and evangelical Christian, is becoming frustrated with people questioning his loyalty as a teammate.
Amid questions and several media reports about the 25-year-old quarterback refusing to participate in the Jets' wildcat package after recently being bumped down from the team's official backup QB, Tebow expressed his disappointment in what he feels is a jab at his character.
"For people to not know the situation and to bash your character and say you're a phony, you're a fake and you're a hypocrite, I think that's what's disappointing and that's what's frustrating. It's a football game," Tebow said in an ESPN report Wednesday. "That's one thing, if you're good or bad at football, but your character and integrity, that's who you are as a man. That's a lot more important. That's what's disappointing for me and frustrating because I take that way more serious than I'll ever take a football game."
The rumors of Tebow refusing to participate in the team's wildcat offensive package began last Sunday in an ESPNNewYork.com report when several media outlets followed suit to report that the QB was upset that he was passed over for the team's starting QB position. While Tebow did reportedly admit to speaking with Jets head coach Rex Ryan about being unhappy with his status on the team, he is making it clear that the conversation had nothing to do with him refusing to participate in wildcat plays.
"I never said, 'Hey, I don't want to do anything or I won't do anything,' " Tebow said in an ESPN report. "That wasn't the talk at all. He knows that and everybody on this team knows I would never not do something if I was asked."
For Tebow, the most disappointing aspect of the most recent rumors are that people may have viewed him as a quitter.
"That's what's disappointing, people saying, 'You quit' or, 'You didn't do this.' That was not it at all. It was me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback," Tebow revealed. "It wasn't me asking out of anything."