Just recently we had Jason Collins, NBA player reveal to the world he is gay. The struggle this man had with life up to this point in time was obvious if you pay any attention at all. In a testosterone driven business – sports in general – this is a brave man. Not surprising, with little time to spare, we have one Chris Broussard, sports analyst for ESPN and also a columnist for ESPN Magazine and ESPN.com, takes to the airways and during a segment on “Outside the Lines” a show discussing Mr. Collin’s and his decision to come out, decides it is the perfect time to express his personal beliefs. He goes on to say “Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly … like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says ‘you know them by their fruits.’ It says that, you know, that’s a sin.” He goes on to say “I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is…. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be… that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.” He follows up in a later interview with an equally open-minded statement – one where he still sees hope for anyone who is gay – and he even admits he has a friend that is gay – “And if you stumble and fall, then you get back up, you repent and ask God for forgiveness, and you move on,” he said. “I think that applies to homosexuals as well.” Okay, the man is entitled to believe whatever he wants – no matter how stunted and bigoted it is. Using a national Cable TV show to express it seems a bit irrelevant and inappropriate given the topic at hand. And of course, when confronted by irate viewers, ESPN wasn’t able to really man up and address the level of the issue here – maybe only my read of their released statement being pretty much non-committal and cowardly but I find it an action-less and unacceptable response – “We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.” Basically, sorry it disrupted the show. And we have gay friends also.
But this isn’t really the problem here. We have all encountered this prejudice and bible-thumping rhetoric at every stage of the game. I think the bigger problem is really in the rest of the statement made by Broussard – let’s pay some attention to the “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be” being a sin, then I don’t understand why Broussard hasn’t made it a focus to call out the rest of the NBA players who have obviously dabbled in those other areas of sin. I have to wonder if he took on Kobe Bryant when he decided adultery was ok – I think not. Not that I would know (or even really care) but do we really believe that Broussard never fornicated or had sex outside of marriage? Maybe Broussard was able to maintain his celibacy not only thru college but for another 5 years after college until he got married but really? Bottom line is I’m tired of all these people standing behind the façade of religion the teachings of the bible and then living life as they wish, basically screwing whoever – literally and figuratively – when the occasion or opportunity arises. It is really time that people stop being sheep and start calling these people out – repercussions are a bitch and it is time we, as a society, make it clear you can’t say one thing and do another.
Again, maybe Mr. Broussard has lived an exemplary life and lives what he preaches – I still remind him that without the progress around diversity and inclusiveness this country has realized over the past decades, maybe he wouldn’t be able to share the same public bathroom with me or drink from the same water fountain.
And to ESPN – get some balls.