Thursday, May 02, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #106 - Part 4

Clown Award: Chris Broussard of ESPN

Time for the Clown Award, given as needed for acts of meritorious stupidity.

The photo is that of Jason Collins. He is NOT the recipient of the big red nose this week. By no means.

What he is, is a 34-year old journeyman center in the NBA. He has never been a star in the league, although he was the starting center for the New Jersey Nets team that made the NBA Finals in the 2002-2003 season.

But he became a star of a different sort when in the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated, which came out on April 29, he revealed that he is gay. He thus became the first active male athlete in a major US team sport to do so. "Major US team sport" includes the NFL, the NHL, the NBA, and major league baseball. Six former players in one of those leagues have come out, but they all did it after they retired. He is the first active player ever to do so.

(There have been cases of active pro athletes in non-team sports such as tennis or Olympic diving coming out, and some of the women in the WNBA are out, as well.)

Leaving aside twits like Phil Jackson, who claimed he never encountered a single gay NBA player in his entire coaching career, the reaction in the sports world was overwhelmingly positive.

His current team, Washington Wizards, released a statement that the team is "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."

Even the White House got in on the act: Michelle Obama tweeted a statement of support and the Prez phoned Collins to express his support.

So who's the clown? It's this guy:

His name is Chris Broussard and he's a sportscaster for ESPN. In response to Collins coming out, he launched into a bigoted rant.

"I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle.... If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that, that’s a sin." Collins is, he said, "openly living in unrepentant sin."

Even though Collins said that "My parents instilled Christian values in me" and "I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding," Broussard apparently wasn't paying attention to that last part.

Instead, he ranted that Collins is, quoting, "walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ" and that he "would not characterize [him] as a Christian."

So apparently, Chris Broussard, who thinks that everything would have been okay if only Collins had kept his mouth shut (since it's the "openly" part that really seems to have riled him up), believes he can personally decide who is and is not a Christian. Well, I can personally decide who is and who is not a clown. And Chris Broussard is most assuredly on the "is" list.


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