Chris Broussard, the Christian ESPN analyst, was asked to discuss his opinion on Washington Wizards Center Jason Collins announcing that he is a homosexual Christian and sparked a debate after questioning the athlete's faith.
- (Photograph: Twitter/Chris Broussard)
Broussard, 44, appeared on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," alongside openly gay ESPN staff member LZ Granderson to discuss the topic of tolerance for homosexuality after Collins became the first active athlete in professional sports to speak about his lifestyle choice.
"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, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that's a sin," Broussard said on ESPN Monday. "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 think that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ."
The analyst went on to question Collins' Christianity amid the debate.
"I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don't think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian," Broussard said.
However, Collins has been receiving support from famous names like former president Bill Clinton, NBA player Kobe Bryant and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Some people took to Twitter to attack the 44-year-old Christian sports analyst after learning about his comments.
"@Chris_Broussard you call @jasoncollins34 a #sinner, I hope you call out all #sins over the #espn airwaves, including yours. #hypocrite," one person tweeted.
Another individual followed the same sentiments.
"Chris Broussard of @espn needs to get over himself. So you think homosexuality is a sin," the person questioned on Twitter. "Ok. Don't be gay then. Quit being a hater."
Despite the backlash he received, Broussard also received support on the social networking website, including some positive reinforcement from well-known Christian rapper Lecrae.
"So you ask @Chris_Broussard for his thoughts and you're attacking him cause you disagree with them," Lecrae questioned on Twitter. "And he's the intolerant one?"
Others followed the Christian rapper's lead and tweeted their support for Broussard.
"Jason Collins is getting praised for his beliefs but Chris Broussard is getting vilified his," another person wrote. "Oh ok America #Hypocrites."
After the ESPN segment with Broussard and Granderson caused debate, the network released a statement about the topic possibly being a distraction.
"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," ESPN's statement reads.
Broussard also took to Twitter to clarify his statements amid the backlash he received Monday.
"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. I realize that some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that," Broussard tweeted. "As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA."