Patriots owner: Tim Tebow’s Christian faith makes him ‘appealing to me’

Over the years, NFL quarterback Tim Tebow’s Christian faith has been part of his intrigue to his supporters, and a turnoff for those who think he is too open about his personal beliefs.

Wednesday the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft put himself on the side of those who admire Tebow for his faith, telling reporters that the quarterback’s spirituality is part of his appeal.

Here’s what Kraft told reporters, according to ESPN:

“If you want to win in this league, you need quality depth management, in the age of the salary cap. Whenever you can get a competitive, first-grade person to join your team, you never know what happens. But for me personally, having Tim Tebow on this team, he’s someone who believes in spirituality, he’s very competitive and works hard, and has a great attitude, and he’s a winner. So having him as part of our franchise is great, but he has to compete just like anyone else. We’re blessed to have a lot of people like that, but the fact that spirituality is very important to him is very appealing to me.”

Kraft, who is Jewish and has reportedly made large philanthropic donations to Israeli sports causes, has spoken positively about Tebow’s faith before. Ahead of a 2011 showdown between the Patriots and the Denver Broncos, where Tebow then played, Kraft said:

“He’s great for the NFL. . . The kind of young man he is and the values he represents, I think it’s terrific. We just want to bring him down to earth this weekend.

“We had a date with him last year here when he came (before the draft). He’s a real, fine young man and I sort of like it that he’s about spirituality and the country is thinking about spirituality.”

The majority of employers are barred from discriminating against a potential employee based on their religion. (The murky middle ground being the ongoing debate over religious groups that take government money for charitable work.) The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Web notes that: “Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs.” But what about favorably?

UPDATE: Charles C. Haynes of the First Amendment Center says that he thinks that Kraft’s comments on the role Tebow’s faith played in his hiring are perfectly legal. Haynes writes:

“There is a difference between hiring or retaining someone on the basis of religious affiliation, which could run afoul of civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, and hiring or retaining someone because, among other things, he or she is spiritually-minded or has good values.  I see nothing problematic for an employer to express admiration for employees who have faith commitments or good character etc. absent evidence that religious employees are treated more favorably than non-religious employees.  This is an instance, I think, of a employer generally admiring the character of an employee, including the employee’s spiritual commitments.”


Diamondbacks draft paralyzed Arizona State player

When the Arizona Diamondbacks reached the 34th round of baseball's draft, they didn't pick for need or take a chance on potential.

Instead, they made a gesture to a player whose career was cut short.

Bypassing conventional wisdom in the draft, the Diamondbacks used the 1,020th overall pick of the draft on Arizona State's Cory Hahn, an outfielder who was paralyzed during a game in 2011.

"It was a very emotional selection for us to make," Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said on Saturday. "When (scouting director) Ray Montgomery and his staff came up with the idea and presented it to me, it was a no-brainer."

Hahn was one of the nation's top prospects in 2010, when he was California's Mr. Baseball after leading Mater Dei High School to a state title.

He was drafted in the 26th round by San Diego that year, but likely would have gone much higher had he not announced plans to play at Arizona State.

Hahn's college career lasted three games.

Playing against New Mexico on Feb. 20, 2011, he suffered a spinal injury after sliding head-first on a steal attempt and colliding with Lobos second baseman Kyle Stiner's knee.

Hahn was taken off on a stretcher and had surgery later that night, but was paralyzed from the mid-chest down after fracturing his C-5 vertebrae. He's spent the past two years helping Arizona State's program as a student coach.

The Diamondbacks waited until the 34th round to pick Hahn because he wore No. 34 at ASU. He was eligible for this year's draft because he's in his third year out of high school.

"It's not about us. It's really about Cory and his family," Hall said. "I was able to spend time with them right after the injury in his hospital room and he's a wonderful kid. We want to make this permanent. We don't want this to just be about the selection and him being a draft pick, but about him working in full-time employment with the Diamondbacks and hopefully we'll make that come to fruition for he and his family here soon."


NJ Man Has Heart Attack While Driving, Gets 3 Tickets

It sounds like a joke: a doctor's note reading, "Please forgive Mr. Langley's tickets due to his unfortunate experience of having a heart attack seconds prior to having his car accident." But no, this note really was delivered to a New Jersey municipal court, the Asbury Park Press reports.

And even more bizarre is the fact that the court dismissed just two of the three tickets Dan Langley, 20, had received after the accident, which he does not remember.

He was en route to a friend's house on April 1 when his car hit another vehicle at a traffic light; he got out, vomited, and then collapsed. No one was injured in the accident. An officer who responded gave Langley CPR, and Langley ended up getting a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

The same day, the mechanical engineering student received three tickets in the mail, from a different officer. The tickets for tailgating and unsafe operation of a motor vehicle were dismissed, but authorities only agreed to downgrade the third ticket from reckless driving to obstructing the passage of other vehicles, an offense that doesn't carry any points.

But Langley did have to pay a $133 fine. "What's the charge?" grumbles his dad. "Criminal cardiac arrest?"