- (Photo: Screen Grab via ESPN)
After the firestorm that erupted over ESPN sports analyst Chris Broussard's bold declaration that NBA player Jason Collins' homosexuality isn't consistent with biblical scripture, ESPN president John Skipper has dismissed the comments as "one mistake."
In a discussion with reporters in New York this week, Skipper shared his thoughts on how ESPN handled Collins' announcement that he is homosexual.
"I think we did great other than we made one mistake," said Skipper. "The mistake was not being more careful with Chris Broussard, and there is a collective responsibility there. Chris Broussard's job was to come on and talk about the news of the league, how the league was representing it, and through a series of events he made personal comments which was a mistake."
Skipper also revealed that he had a discussion with Broussard and producers of "Outside the Lines" after the incident and made it clear that while the station was committed to a diversity of views, Broussard's comments did not reflect ESPN's position on Collins' homosexuality.
"I had a discussion with everybody," said Skipper. "They said, 'Look, we brought [ESPN.com columnist] LZ Granderson on to talk from a personal point of view, and we brought Chris on as a reporter and it was a mistake for him to cross the line into a personal point of view there.'"
"We don't quarrel with his right to have any personal point of view, although we do assert as a company that we have a tolerant point of view, we are a diverse company, and that does not represent what our company thinks."
Just over two weeks ago, NBA player Jason Collins who is now a free agent announced in a Sports Illustrated article that he is gay and Christian – an apparent oxymoron to which many in the orthodox Christian community, like Broussard took umbrage.
"My parents instilled Christian values in me," wrote Collins. "They taught Sunday school, and I enjoyed lending a hand. I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding."
Subsequent to Collins' announcement, Broussard, who is also president of the K.I.N.G Movement which works to uplift men through biblical teachings, was asked for his view on Collins' claim on ESPN's "Outside the Lines." He declared they were not consistent with the teachings of the Bible.
"Personally, I don't believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you are living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that's a sin," said Broussard on the show. "If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ."