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Scott Fujita, Tim Tebow, and speaking up

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  February 3, 2010 09:36 AM

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fujita.jpgIt’s still early in the day, but I’m really happy – and, to be honest, relieved – that the feedback I’ve received and the comments posted underneath today’s story about Scott Fujita endorsing gay rights have mostly avoided the descent into political nastiness. I hope that reaction helps prove one of the main points of the story – it is a positive thing, and not as harmful as believed, for athletes to speak their mind on social issues.

And this is when someone raises their hand and asks, “What about Tim Tebow?” Tebow’s attempt to appear in a Super Bowl commercial for Focus on the Family created a controversy that still lingers. Tebow is one of the most well-known athletes in the country and decided to address probably the most explosive and divisive topic in existence. It is not a surprise his message became the most controversial storyline of the Super Bowl build up.

Some writers have argued that Tebow’s message is too dangerous to promote, that in terms of free speech it is akin to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. Others have lauded Tebow speaking up on a taboo topic. Fujita, while he disagrees with the message, falls with the latter group.

“I actually respect Tim for standing up for something he believes in,” Fujita said. “Whether I agree with his idea of what’s required of the family structure, I probably don’t. The idea of focusing on the family, who wouldn’t agree with that? It’s just the means of doing so he and I might not see eye to eye on that all the way.”

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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