April 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An American sports analyst for global TV network ESPN has stirred the left into a frenzy after expressing Christian views on homosexuality following a basketball star’s recent announcement that he is homosexual.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard appeared on Outside the Lines (OTL) yesterday in a special show discussing NBA free agent Jason Collins and his “coming out” announcement.
When ESPN’s senior writer LZ Granderson, who is openly homosexual, said: “If we really want to move toward progress and toward full acceptance, we have to have this conversation and this process,” Broussard seconded the motion, giving an example of what Christians would expect such a conversation to look like.
“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. L.Z. knows that. He and I have played on basketball teams together for several years. We’ve gone out, had lunch together, we’ve had good conversations, good laughs together. He knows where I stand and I know where he stands. I don’t criticize him, he doesn’t criticize me, and call me a bigot, call me ignorant, call me intolerant.”
Broussard said that respect has to go both ways.
“In talking to some people around the league, there’s a lot of Christians in the NBA and just because they disagree with that lifestyle, they don’t want to be called bigoted and intolerant and things like that. That’s what L.Z. was getting at. Just like I may tolerate someone whose lifestyle I disagree with, he can tolerate my beliefs. He disagrees with my beliefs and my lifestyle but true tolerance and acceptance is being able to handle that as mature adults and not criticize each other and call each other names.”
Broussard then went on to lay out the traditional Christian understanding of sexual morality in relation to being a Christian, most likely a response to Collins’ assertion in Sports Illustrated that he “take[s] the teachings of Jesus seriously.”
“Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly 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’s a sin. 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, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”
The left was quick to respond to Broussard’s comments with the hashtag #firechrisbroussard lighting up Twitter. Media personalities such as Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports and Deadspin’s John Koblin took Broussard to task for expressing his Christian views in the public forum.
“The last thing [homosexual youths] need is to see someone like Chris Broussard, who ESPN (and by extension, the NBA) trusts as both its voice both at games and in-studio, to be referring to them as sinners who are in ‘open rebellion to God,’” Dwyer said.
Despite intense pressure from the left, ESPN stood by Broussard, issuing a statement that called the discussion “respectful” and part of its “commit[ment] to diversity”.
“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.”
Broussard defended his comments last night on Twitter.
“Today on OTL, as part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion on today's news, I offered my personal opinion as it relates to Christianity, a point of view that I have expressed publicly before.”
“I realize that some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that. As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.”
Former Canadian sportscaster Damian Goddard expressed his support for Broussard, calling him “courageous”.
“I completely and wholeheartedly support Chris Broussard and the traditional and TRUE meaning of Christianity,” he posted on Facebook.
Goddard was fired by Rogers Communications in 2011, 24 hours after sharing on Twitter that he “completely and wholeheartedly” supported “the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.”
“Once again, the culture has spoken. And the culture's message to people of faith is clear: you'll attain your precious sainthood, but not without facing our all-out assault, via the mainstream media, to make you a pariah,” Goddard told LifeSiteNews. “You'll be shouted down, vilified, mocked… heck, you might even lose your job.”
“And all because of what?” he asked. “Because you express a viewpoint that even a child can grasp; the union of man and woman, and the consummating act between those two halves of humanity, is holy. It is from God. And, as my broadcasting confrere Mr. Broussard so eloquently mapped out, any act outside of that dynamic is an open rebellion to what God asks of us.”