Tim Tebow Should Consider Opportunity to Play Football in Russia
PETERSBURG, Russia | Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:48pm BST ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – U.S. pop singer Selena Gomez has scrapped two concerts in Russia after falling foul of new visa rules which critics say can be used to keep out Western artists who promote gay rights. The concert organisers said Gomez, who sang “Come And Get It” and supports gay rights, pulled out of the planned performances in St. Petersburg and Moscow next week when it became clear she would not be able to secure a visa in time. They blamed the delay on the new rules, which they said were prompted by official concern over two concerts in Russia at which Madonna and Lady Gaga defended gay rights, and a gig in neighbouring Ukraine where the lead singer of U.S. group Bloodhound Gang stuffed a Russian flag down his trousers. “The situation is a result of the scandals over the Madonna, Lady Gaga and Bloodhound Gang concerts, after which the Russian authorities changed procedures for issuing visas to foreign musical and artistic groups,” said the promoters, the Russian Entertainment Academy. Foreign artists can no longer receive visas by invitation from the Culture Ministry under the aegis of cultural links if they come to Russia to conduct commercial activity, according to state-run news agency RIA. It said the procedures were changed following complaints from Vitaly Milonov, a St. Petersburg legislator who criticised Madonna and Lady Gaga and has campaigned against gay rights. Performing in St. Petersburg last year in black lingerie with the words “No Fear” scrawled on her back, Madonna attacked a city law promoted by Milonov that imposed fines for spreading homosexual “propaganda”. Lada Gaga also denounced the law on stage in St Petersburg last year, declaring: “Tonight, this is my house Russia.
While the best opportunity for him to play in the NFL immediately could be in Jacksonville (or even Cleveland if the Brian Hoyer experiment doesn’t pan out), no NFL franchise appears to have reached out to the quarterback. Earlier in the week, there was even a rally in Jacksonville to bring Tebow to the Jaguars. The fanbase is clearly fed up with Blaine Gabbert and is looking for a change. Tebow would be the face of the franchise that the Jaguars so desperately need. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Regardless, it isn’t Tebow’s fault that he isn’t in Jacksonville. Owner Shahid Khan and general manager David Caldwell have seemingly done nothing to bring him onto a team destined to finish near the bottom of the NFL this season. Given the semi-surprising lack of interest in him, Tebow should not have refused the offer to play in Russia. American football in Russia is a few steps down from the NFL (OK, more than a few), but having success at any level would be enough to open the eyes of teams thinking about giving him a call. If anything, Tebow could use the opportunity in Russia to show teams that he can stand in the pocket and pass. Given the low stakes of playing there, he could stay in the pocket and not look to run. It would essentially be an overseas tryout for teams looking into acquiring his services. Andy Lyons/Getty Images Tebow’s inability to show any consistency throwing the football is his biggest downfall. In three seasons, he has completed just 47.9 percent of his passes. To put that into perspective, his 47.9 percent for his career is six full points worse than Chad Henne’s league-worst 53.9 percent passing from last season.