Before last year, I had never heard of Chris Broussard. He was featured on ESPN’s studio panel during the network’s coverage of the NBA last season.
The sports reporter has been in the business since 1990 and has worked for ESPN since 2004. Before, April 29, 2013, I would think Broussard would be considered a “no-name” in many social circles. But after his appearance on ESPN’s show “Outside the Lines,” that day, he caught the attention of many.
For most in the national media and throughout the NBA, this was the day to recognize Jason Collins, who admitted in a Sports Illustrated article that he is a homosexual. Collins is an NBA journeyman who played for six teams, most recently with the Washington Wizards.
Both the league and national media praised Collins for his admittance. He was admired for the bold move he made and is considered to be heroic.
Though he won’t be given the same fanfare, Broussard also made some bold statements during a panel discussion involving L.Z. Granderson, a sports writer who admitted to being homosexual. Here is the transcript of Broussard’s comments from “Outside the Lines”:
“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. [ESPN’s] L.Z. [Granderson] 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.
“In talking to some people around the league, there’s a lot 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 LZ 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.
“… 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.”
Guaranteed, Broussard will be chastised for these comments. Though his remarks are just as bold as Collins’ remarks, Broussard won’t be acknowledged in the same light. Following the telecast, ESPN released a statement of apology regarding Broussard’s comments, saying, “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.”
As I said, Collins’ remarks are accepted, but not Broussard’s.
Bob Costas would consider Broussard to be a Neanderthal, as the NBC sports personality classified such a perspective on homosexuality during an interview on Dan Patrick’s sports talk show. Others will come out harshly against Broussard.
The fascinating thing about this whole experience, though, is this is done under a banner called “Tolerance.” However, it appears such tolerance only goes one way. Very few will actually address what Broussard said.
Critics will pull out portions and label him “anti-gay” and will not acknowledge he is willing to discuss the topic as mature adults without name calling. Even more, they will disregard the truth he spoke about living in unrepentant sin, not just homosexuality.
Just like the prophets of old, Broussard spoke the hard truth, and just like the prophets of old, he will face persecution, maybe not life-threatening, but society will not treat him favorably.
May all Christians today take heed.