13-year NBA veteran Jason Collins came out of the closet yesterday. In an article for Sports Illustrated, he wrote “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.” Jason is the first male athlete in the four major American sports leagues to admit to being homosexual while still playing professionally.
Good for him.
It remains to be seen how he’ll be received by his future teammates and by the league in general. His former team the Washington Wizards reacted positively:
“We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly. He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career. Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.”
Laker superstar Kobe Bryant was supportive as well. He took to Twitter: “Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others”
Not everyone was so accepting. ESPN sportscaster and basketball pundit Chris Broussard, for example. He was asked about Collins’ homosexuality on the network’s Outside The Lines.
Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like, 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, you know, that’s a sin. 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. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian.
Interesting. It would be one thing for Broussard to be homophobic, which he is. But it’s another for him to use the Bible to justify a personal attack. As if he just today found the text of the good book in the back of The Sporting News. That’s particularly cowardly. If we’re all going to use the media now to air our personal beliefs about sports figures, how about this one: Chris Broussard is a hypocrite.
He began a career covering basketball in his hometown of Cleveland, and he rode the success of LeBron James to get where he is. Chris has a well-earned reputation for being a James sycophant – someone who used his access to the superstar, and a habit of glorying the athlete, to court the spotlight. He is to this league’s greatest player what Ahmad Rashad was to Michael Jordan. And don’t you believe ESPN didn’t know it when they hired him. His frequent partner in debate, Skip Bayless, is well aware:
You sold your journalistic soul to get close to LeBron.
As are the NBA’s many fans.
How can @chris_broussard be homophobic? He’s been blowing Lebron for years
— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) April 29, 2013
. . my point being the Cleveland sports-guy used LeBron to garner fame and fortune. Now that we’re aware what a judgmental and righteous Christian Chris Broussard is, this brings up a question. Why hasn’t the great LeBron’s fornicating been a topic of conversation by now?
He had his first child out of wedlock when he was nineteen years old, his second when he was twenty-two. There’s no indication James’ penchant for unholy union has ever abated, right up to this day. Media guy should have written a raft of columns on James’ un-Christian, if not Satanic, off-court behavior when it first became apparent, back when James started playing big-league ball in Ohio.
By contrast, Jason Collins we – and Broussard – really don’t know much about. We don’t know if he engaged in any un-Biblical sex acts, homosexual or heterosexual, outside of marriage. For all the world, the man might be a virgin and deserve every courtesy of not being judged. Lest we suffer the same fate, of course.
But rather than getting bogged down in the mysteries of Collins’ sex life, let’s assess what little we’re actually aware of. We now know that there is a concrete Chris Broussard standard, and nothing could be easier to understand:
. . I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like, premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle . . I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian . .
Which leaves us conflicted. When it’s revealed that Jason Collins may, or may not, be living “an openly homosexual lifestyle,” Broussard finds it so personally disturbing that he pronounces Collins to be a non-Christian. But though LeBron James is still engaged in a “premarital sex between heterosexuals” lifestyle, Broussard has yet to condemn the superstar for rebelling against God and Christ. How very hypocritical.
The contrast is stark. And maybe that’s because Broussard knows better than to press his convictions too far. No one wants to lose a cushy job, after all. The ESPN gig turns on his hobnobbing with NBA stars, LeBron being one of many who probably fornicate more frequently than receive free shoes. Those folks might stop returning Chris’ phone calls were he to make a point of pronouncing them enemies of Christ. They wouldn’t be too pleased if Broussard did to them what he’s just done to Jason Collins.