Few topics fuel the fire of public opinion like the discussion of equal rights and equal treatment. No matter the subject of debate, everyone has their own opinions, and sometimes an event occurs that gets people in the mood to share them.
NBA center Jason Collins made history Monday when he became the first active openly gay athlete in a major American sport (via Sports Illustrated). While his admission has garnered a bevy of positive comments and public support, not everyone shares the same opinion on what Collins’ announcement means.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard is among those who shared an opinion that defies the politically correct climate regarding the topic. Here’s what Broussard had to say on his beliefs (full video can be found at Buzzfeed.com):
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.
UPDATE: Monday, Apr. 29, at 11:38 p.m. ET by Eric Ball
“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.”
---End of update---
Broussard’s comments are in line with those he has shared in the past in reference to former NBA player John Amaechi’s coming out in 2009, about which he wrote:
But America has become so politically correct — not to mention that, in my opinion, much of the media and Hollywood are promoting the idea that homosexuality is a normal lifestyle — that many players are afraid to voice their true feelings publicly.
Regardless of personal opinions on Broussard’s comments, there’s no denying the controversial nature of a topic that has found itself in the forefront of sports media. Collins isn’t the first athlete to come out (though he is the only active openly gay male athlete in a major American sport), and he won’t be the last.
Former Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner was met with a similar situation when she came out April 17. While women’s basketball isn’t in the same spotlight as NBA basketball, there are still some parallels; both athletes made a brave admission that many other athletes have chosen not to make.
All opinions on the broader topic aside, Broussard chose to use his position as a forum to voice his beliefs. And he probably won’t be the last to do so.