Tim Tebow recently got picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles. The firestorm of hate came raining down not too recently after that. People calling him a joke and a "mascot quarterback" and Jay Feely (former NFL placekicker) calls Tim Tebow ‘the single worst quarterback I ever saw’ in the NFL. He's made fun of for "Tebowing" where he takes a knee to pray at games.
There is something he can do to boost his likability. It's the same strategy that Chris Brown, Robert Downey Jr, and Kobe Bryant have done. Each one of the aforementioned people went through rough times where they were quite disliked.
Chris Brown went from hated domestic abuser to having his first number one album and winning a Grammy after the situation with Rihanna.
Robert Downey Jr. went from a drug addict felony to a MTV Generation Award winner and highest paid actor of all time making $75 million for Iron Man.
These people all went from hated to celebrated (though some will never get over what each did, the results are the results). Now granted, Tim Tebow didn't do anything as heinous as the examples given, but his image is pretty poor. Soon, bad things and being likable have nothing to do with each other all the time. Whatever the cause of it, he's not that likable right now. There are tons of bad quarterbacks that come in and out of the league, but none have been as polarizing as Tim Tebow.
So what did all of the three other aforementioned celebrities do to increase their likability? Simple. They produced at the highest level of their careers...consistently.
It sounds simplistic but it's not. Tim Tebow can't hold anything back. He's got to play at playoff intensity every single game. Every. Single. Game. He has a chance to perform and he can't squander one second of his time. He has to spend every waking minute being the best. No publicity tours. No late night talk shows. No book signings. No interviews not mandated by his contractual playing obligations. No kissing babies. No sponsorship commercials. No nonessential public appearances. No charity events this year (his impact on the world of good will be much higher if he becomes more celebrated. It's like shooting an arrow, you have to pull it back first before you can shoot it forward).
Nothing except playing football, perfecting throwing mechanics, bonding with linemen, understanding his receivers' preferences, and bottom line: getting results.
All of the other people mentioned performed at their best when people had lost all faith in them. For better or for worse, people in this country start liking you when you win. When you win Grammys, when you make good movies, when you win NBA finals, and when you perform well. It's really that simple. In today's day and age of the Internet, nothing will ever be swept under the rug. Ever again. It will always be there.
Instead imagine what you are doing is analogous to pushing things down on your Facebook timeline. Every time you post on your Facebook timeline (or really any timeline) you push that content further and further down making it harder and harder to find.
So if you do something bad and then hide, be quiet and hope it goes away, it actually is the first thing people see on your timeline because there is no new content.
But if you keep producing good after good people see what's most recent. And if it's good, I mean REAL good, people are forgiving.
Is it right? It's not my place to say, but I can say it's what is. It's not subjective; it's results. People went to see Robert Downey Jr's movies; people bought Chris Brown's albums, and the media voted Kobe Bryant MVP.
"People vote not with their opinion, but they vote with their time and dollars."
So what can you learn from all of this? If you ever find yourself in a bad situation and you feel like public enemy number one (for whatever reason), it is not the time to hide. It's your time to produce at your highest level. Non-stop and consistently. People will boo you at first and hope you hide, but if stay consistent and keep producing, the cream will always rise to the top.
Hopefully you never have to deal with this situation. But if you do, you'll know what you have to do.