Professional basketball player Jason Collins recently became the first openly gay, active player in the NBA. This is very big news in the sports world. The great thing about it is most of the public was very understanding and commended him. Many sports figures saluted Collins for coming out. Others took issue with it.
Chris Broussard, writer for ESPN, said on live television in regards to Collins, “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.”
He went on to say:
“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 don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”
Apparently Broussard forgot about his sports writer title. A statement like that doesn’t accomplish anything. This statement isn’t why ESPN pays him. What he said brings his religion into his job, and these are two completely different aspects of his life. In my opinion, it was a very unprofessional thing to say, especially on live television.
Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins showed his displeasure for the situation via Twitter and then deleted the tweets about Collins.
Mark Jackson, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, said he would be praying for Collins’ family in a statement.
Retired NFL player LeRoy Butler congratulated Collins via Twitter, and was punished for it. He was going to speak at a church in Wisconsin, but the church cancelled the event because he congratulated Collins.
The fact of the matter is that this is a very sticky issue. I am not God. It is not my job to judge whether I think Collins is wrong for what he believes in. It’s his personal life for a reason and he should do what he pleases.
What I do know is that Collins stood up for himself and what he believes in, no matter what the consequences were. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pastor of a church, a Birkenstock-wearing hipster, a redneck from Tennessee or a college baseball player.
You can respect what Collins did. He is now playing for something bigger than himself, as well. He’s playing for a group of people that are considered by many as inferior. That’s why my hat goes off to him for what he did. The bigger picture here is his act of bravery and courage.
Published May 8, 2013