Craig James, the former New England Patriots running back and veteran broadcaster, says he was fired by Fox Sports because of his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
"I am being punished, fired, because I hold that belief," James told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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James has hired Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Institute to represent him against Fox, which terminated him after just one week, reportedly based on comments he made during an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate from Texas in 2012.
In one primary debate, James expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage, adding, “People choose to be gay … I think it’s a choice. I do. Same-sex marriage, if someone chooses to do that, that’s done. And God’s going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions. And in that case right there, they’re going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions.”
After James was axed by Fox for the year-old comment, a Fox spokesman told The Dallas Morning News: “We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department “He couldn’t say those things here.”
Sasser told Steve Malzberg, "It's a big difference between him saying it on the air as an employee or representing Fox … They're saying look, we heard you say this 15 months ago and we decided people like you who hold those types of beliefs, who would say those things in their own time, those types of people are not the type of people we want to have on Fox Sports.
"What's dangerous about this is this is the equivalent of—you got fired because somebody overheard what you said at your Sunday School classroom or they saw a Facebook posting that you did in your own personal space talking about your own Biblical beliefs—getting fired and terminated because of what you believe and what you stand for."
Sasser called Fox's comment in The Dallas Morning News a "big smoking gun."
"Even if they wanted to engage in religious discrimination against him, they could've just said we're firing Craig for unnamed reasons or whatever. But to then go out affirmatively putting these statements out in the press … that's the thing that is just really so appalling about what Fox did here."
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