Sentencing reform fans, here's a reason to love (or at least like) Tim Tebow, detailed in this report from NFL.com:
The New York Jets' quarterback has made 10 prison visits dating back to his time at the University of Florida, speaking and interacting with inmates who are looking for a fresh start.
Accompanied by chaplain and longtime family friend James Williams, Tebow had spoken with everyone from death row inmates to young offenders new to the system.
“It’s hard to fool people who are incarcerated,” Gerald Evans, an inmate at Lawtey Correctional Institution in northeast Florida, told the New York Daily News. “They can see right through you. They can tell when a guy’s faking, every time.
“Tim Tebow, he brought a charge to people here. He brought inspiration to people here. He is as real as you can get.”
Tebow has visited Lawtey twice, talking faith and throwing a football with inmates in the prison's gymnasium.
“Being in prison you automatically see the worst in people,” inmate Tyron Thomas said. “You meet a lot of people who pick up the Bible and when they put it down you can never tell they read it. There was just something about Tebow, and how he truly believes in the word of God. It’s kind of freaky, actually. It’s not something you see too often.”
Cynics might call Tebow's "Good Christian Boy" image an act, but stories like this show he really does come from a different angle than your typical sports star. It certainly helps to explain his unrivaled appeal among NFL players.Indeed. How important are prisoners to God? Well, if Matthew 25:31-46 is any indication, very important: Jesus says visiting with a prisoner is like visiting with Jesus himself -- and gets God's approval.
We hope Tebow's exposure to prisoners also exposes him to the injustice of our mandatory sentencing laws and inspires him to speak out against them.