ESPN Analyst Speaks For Faith In Jason Collins Coming Out

Most readers are undoubtedly aware of the announcement of NBA player Jason Collins that he’s a practicing homosexual, making him the first athlete in a major professional American team sport to publicly “come out.” What you may not be aware is that some dissent on this topic came from an unlikely source in the person of ESPN analyst Chris Broussard.

I say “unlikely” not to cast aspersions on Broussard, but simply because he’s a reasonably prominent media member at a network that has mostly bowed down to secular liberalism. As such, I was surprised to hear him say the following in light of yesterday’s news…

“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…” Then after referring to a friendship with ESPN’s openly gay L.Z. Granderson, Broussard added “true tolerance and acceptance is being able to handle that as mature adults and not criticize each other and call each other names.”

Broussard has since had to issue a “clarification” of his remarks, but he did not back down from his religious beliefs, ones quite obviously shared by the Catholic Church on this subject. The clarification only confirmed that he has no objection to Collins playing in the NBA.

That wasn’t enough for media people like Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer, who felt compelled to rush into print with a diatribe against Broussard that said America was not a “theocracy” (although if Broussard ever advocated making it such, I missed it) and that it was “it’s infuriating that Chris would go to this place immediately after talking up the massive outpouring of support he referenced from NBA players earlier in the program (Broussard had mentioned talking to many other players with Christian beliefs on the topic).”

Why is it infuriating? The media is regularly admonishing America that we need to have an open and honest discussion on subjects like these? Does an open and honest discussion mean tuning out the other side completely? Apparently Dwyer and those who agree with him feel that way.

And why was it inappropriate for Broussard to make his remarks yesterday? He’s a socially conservative Christian who covers the NBA at an all-sports network that owns a huge chunk of the TV rights to the league. Why on earth would he not give his view, especially given that his beliefs had apparently been expressed before and he was invited onto the network’s discussion? We might add that “his beliefs” on this speak for those of many, ranging from the Catholic Church, to various Protestant communities to Judaism and Islam.

What’s more disturbing is that Dwyer and his ideological compatriots really don’t grasp that it really is possible to see beyond a fundamental disagreement on questions of right and wrong and still like a person. Does this mean they’re only capable of talking to and connecting with those who toe their line?

It brings to mind the story of Andrew Sullivan and Pat Buchanan. Sullivan is an openly gay liberal writer and Buchanan a socially conservative Catholic and three-time presidential candidate. When it was made public that Sullivan had HIV, Buchanan sent him a note. Sullivan recalled that he expected condemnation and instead received a compassionate response and an offer of prayer. Sullivan at first could not understand how someone who had been so vocally opposed to his lifestyle could reach out in a time of need. He eventually came to realize that however much gay rights supporters get tired of hearing “hate the sin, love the sinner”, for many people that really is the way they live.

Sullivan would later write, “I think it would have been perversely churlish not to recognize his good intent, quietly and privately expressed.” He later lamented that “one of the deepest problems in today’s culture war is the reflexive imputations of bad motives to the opposition and the demonization that inevitably follows. The corollary is believing that we ourselves is capable of nothing but good, and so failing to see where we also go wrong.”

 

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17 thoughts on “ESPN Analyst Speaks For Faith In Jason Collins Coming Out

  1. Patrick says:

    I think part of the outrage is that given the amount of public sinning that goes on among NBA, players, Chris Broussard chooses to remain silent until its this sin. His actions stinks of unfair discrimination against one group of peoplee.

    1. joey says:

      what sin? coming out is not a sin.

      1. Patrick says:

        Joey, coming out probably does fall under RC notions of scandal, but what CB considers to be sinful – homosexuality ? adultery? keeping a pet bird in a cage? charging interest on a loan? – isnt my point. My point is, in the world of what CB considers to be grave public sins, he certainly uses his position to denounce them incredibly selectively. And that’s shameful.

        1. joey says:

          Patrick I definitely agree with you on that! My point was that he essentially called Jason Collin’s coming out as being a sin, which it isn’t according to the Catholic Church, nor shouldn’t be a scandal within the Church either. So Catholics should not be “praising him” for that. Probably just miscommunication on our parts.

    2. Joe M says:

      Are there any public sins that you are silent about?

  2. Ann says:

    “What’s more disturbing is that Dwyer and his ideological compatriots really don’t grasp that it really is possible to see beyond a fundamental disagreement on questions of right and wrong and still like a person. Does this mean they’re only capable of talking to and connecting with those who toe their line?” Correct. Gay activists and their supporters are incapable of liking (or loving) those who disagree with them so they don’t believe it can be done. We know it can be done but as Andrew Sullivan said ““one of the deepest problems in today’s culture war is the reflexive imputations of bad motives to the opposition and the demonization that inevitably follows. “

  3. JohnE says:

    Kudos to Broussard for standing up for sex and marriage and rightly condemning all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage — and dealing with the incoherent charge of theocracy or the straw-man argument of condemning sin as being the same thing as condemning Jason Collins.

    1. joey says:

      “straw-man argument of condemning sin as being the same thing as condemning Jason Collins.”

      He condemns homosexuality, yet claims Collins is not a Christian for coming out (which does not mean “practicing”). How is this a strawman argument, and how is that a Christian, especially Catholci repsonse?

  4. GREG SMITH says:

    Dan ~ What’s this “practicing” business. I read the SI article and he just “came out” vis -a-vis his orientation. Nothing about any “acts.”

    Fr. Barron recently wrote that coming out for gay people is a good thing. Excuse me if I listen to him rather than some fundamentalist Protestant sports commentator. Com’on everyone. Broussard’s assertion that gay people can’t be Christians isn’t what we believe as Catholics – Pax, Greg

  5. joey says:

    “Most readers are undoubtedly aware of the announcement of NBA player Jason Collins that he’s a practicing homosexual, making him the first athlete in a major professional American team sport to publicly ‘come out.’ ”

    Coming out doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is “practicing homosexuality”. It’s a display of bravery, explaining a part of who a person is, that most would not be aware of. I do think the media overplayed this whole situation. However, condemning someone for coming out is neither appropriate nor Chirstian.

    1. Fred says:

      I don’t see anything brave about it at all. What IS brave is speaking out against all these public pronouncements of perversity! In today’s world to speak the truth that sex is only properly enjoyed when open to new life opens oneself up to attacks from intolerant brainwashed liberals.

      You are wrong if you think the defining tenet of Christianity is ‘niceness.’

      1. Phelps says:

        Fred do you really think that woman would want to marry someone who isnt attracted to her? That would leave some major needs unfulfilled if you know what I mean.

      2. joey says:

        Fred, you’re obviously not versed in Catholic teaching. The inclination of homosexuality is not a sin in the eyes of a Church; acting upon it is. He just revealed that he has those attractions, not that he was acting on them. You are wrong to say that he is speaking against the traditional family by coming out.

    2. Fred says:

      Secondly:
      The guy had a girlfriend that believed she would be married to him. He left her because he selfishly believes in novel sex.
      I also know some of these people who ‘come out’ leaving there children and abandoning the family to pursue the sexual pleasure that ever increases in perversity.

      Sad, sad, sad…
      self gratification, no sexual ethics, no self control and no discipline.

      The U.S. has become a weak and sick society as indicated by the ever increasing suicide rate. And people calling evil good and good evil.

      1. joey says:

        He left her out of selfishness? Who are you to say that? Being honest with oneself is more important. Would marrying his girlfriend be valid if he wasn’t even attracted to her/didn’t want to have sex with her based on his attractions?

    3. Dan says:

      ……and I haven’t heard anyone condemning Collins for making his announcement. In my poinion, he’s making a very shrewd move here. He’s been a journeyman at best and is at the latter stages of his playing career. He’s one of many free-agents now available. By making the announcement, he’s made himself stand out-a team could pick him up and show their fans how open minded they are, or if he doesn’t get signed, he can turn around and sue for discrimination. Either way, he makes money.

      1. joey says:

        Dan, you don’t know his intentions so you’re just making assumptions about the money. And secondly, people ARE condemning Collins for making his announcement because people are idiotically claiming that “coming out as LGBT” = practicing homosexuality. That is a false assumption that most people refuse to understand unfortunately. Broussard has every right to express his beliefs. However, he made a point to condemn homosexuality. The focus was on Collins’ coming out, not whether he practices homosexual acts. He could have been respectful in the way he expressed his opinion. People tend to convolute their ideas also, such as him, so maybe he did this for publicity too.

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