ESPN analyst Chris Broussard spoke out against homosexuality Monday while discussing NBA player Jason Collins, who this week became the first player in one of the major pro sports to come out as gay.
"I'm a Christian. I don't agree with homosexuality," Broussard said on ESPN's "Outside the Lines." "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 that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says 'you know them by their fruits,' it says that that’s a sin. And if you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality — adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex between heterosexuals — whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ, so I would not characterize that person as a Christian."
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Broussard's comments took a media bashing, with liberals and gay-rights activists immediately jumping on the former New York Times writer's opinions.
"Gay young men and women have an impossibly tough time
growing up and attempting to fit in, even as our culture shifts to become a more tolerant society," Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports wrote. "The last thing they need is to see someone like Chris Broussard, who ESPN (and by extension, the NBA) trusts as its voice both at games and in-studio, to be referring to them as sinners who are in 'open rebellion to God.'"
ESPN quickly issued an apology for Broussard's comments
"We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today's news," the organization said in a statement. "ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins' announcement."
Collins made headlines when he revealed his sexuality in a first-person Sports Illustrated essay Monday.
"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins, former center for the Boston Celtics and now a free agent, wrote. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."
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