Time has revealed its choices for this year’s Time 100, the magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and two American athletes made the list: New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.
“Jeremy Lin’s story is a great lesson for kids everywhere because it debunks and defangs so many of the prejudices and stereotypes that unfairly hold children back,” wrote U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in the magazine’s entry on Lin. “He’s dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn’t hack it in the NBA — and that being a world-class athlete on the court is somehow at odds with being an excellent student off the court.”
Interestingly, it was Lin who was asked to write the entry justifying Tebow’s inclusion on the list. “It is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart. He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out,” Lin wrote. “Through his foundation, he constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope. He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.”
Lin’s praise for Tebow isn’t anything new. In an interview with the Gannet News Service earlier this year, Lin cited Tebow’s charitable work as a source of inspiration that he wanted to emulate.
Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to help integrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.