Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/17/14

Tim Tebow and Cam Newton are featured on two separate covers of GQ magazine’s September “NFL Kick-Off” Issue, but it’s a photo from Tebow’s spread that’s receiving the most attention.

In one photo Tebow poses on a football field with his arms spread like Jesus Christ on the crucifix. It turns out the photo was shot while Tebow was in college at the University of Florida, but it was digitally altered to remove Gators signage from the background and made black and white to obscure the Gators colors from Tebow’s pants.

The photo riled up WFAN sports talk radio host Craig Carton, who called Tebow a “narcisist” and a “fraud,” and labeled him “sexy Jesus.”

“He gets it, he plays the role,” Carton said on his show. “He’s typically very, very sincere and very, very consistent about who he is and what his beliefs are. You just saw a little inkling into what he thinks of himself.”

Is Carton’s criticism of Tebow’s “sexy Jesus” pose warranted? It doesn’t look like GQ was able to get much time with Tebow for the cover story, so maybe that’s why they went back to run an old photo. Is it possible that Tebow posed for it when he was younger and more naive and that he wouldn’t have approved it now? We’ve seen some famous athletes do some questionable poses when they’re under the direction of a professional photographer, so it might be a leap to call Tebow “narcissistic” and a “fraud” for posing like that a few years ago.

Tebow is unafraid to voice his religious beliefs and says he won’t stop praising the Lord whenever he has the opportunity. This isn’t the first time Tebow being compared to Jesus has caused a controversy, and it won’t be the last. But does posing for a photo like that mean Tebow is narcissistic and a fraud?

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