The popular sports television network ESPN has released a statement apologizing for a much talked about interview on Outside the Lines yesterday, where commentator Chris Broussard and LZ Granderson discussed the announcement that Washington Wizards center Jason Collins is a homosexual.
As previously reported, Broussard explained that he is a Christian, and as a follower of Jesus Christ, he believes that homosexual behavior is a violation of God’s law.
“I’m a Christian,” he stated. “I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin. I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is [sin] and LZ knows that.”
Broussard expounded by noting that all sexual sin — no matter what it is — is rebellion against the Creator’s commands.
“Personally, I don’t think you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle, or [engage in] premarital sex between heterosexuals [as a Christian],” he explained. “If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you will know them by their fruits. It says that it’s a sin, and if you’re 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.”
Broussard also asserted that a person who willfully continues living in rebellion against God cannot be considered a follower of Jesus Christ.
“I would not characterize that person as a Christian,” Broussard stated, “because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”
The commentator’s remarks quickly spread far and wide across the country, gaining applause from some and criticism from others.
“God bless Broussard; he did what was right,” wrote one reader named Daina. “Collins and Granderson, however, I’m disappointed in. They seem to only believe in those parts of the Bible that serve their own purposes. I hope and pray they put the Word of God before their own selfishness and sin.”
“If you believe I can’t be a ‘child of God’ or even a ‘Christian’ because I am gay, then I can think you’re a bigot,” opined a man named John. “You can’t call people names and judge them and then cry when you get called something back.”
While it is not known whether he did so in light of Broussard’s comments, Barack Obama also called Jason Collins yesterday to offer his support in coming out as a homosexual.
Now, ESPN has released a statement apologizing that the discussion with Broussard served as a “distraction” to Collins’ proclamation.
“We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news,” the short statement reads. “ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.”
Broussard has also sent out a message on Twitter regarding the interview, but has not retracted his statements. Rather, he recognized that some may not share his Christian beliefs.
“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,” he wrote. “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,” Broussard continued. “I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.”