When NBA player Jason Collins officially announced he was gay, he received a ton of support from his teammates, other athletes and even the White House. He received a barrage of requests for interviews including an exclusive with the one and only Oprah Winfrey. Of course an announcement like this isn’t well received by everyone. There are still plenty of people who feel homosexuality is wrong and don’t agree with the lifestyle whether for religious or other reasons. The problem is, in today’s society things have changed and speaking out against homosexuality makes you an outcast, politically incorrect and insensitive. It can even cost you your job.
ESPN NBA analyst Chris Broussard recently caused a lot of controversy when he made the following statement following Collins announcement: “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…. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be … that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.” Broussard was stating his beliefs in reference to his religion but it caused tons of people to lash out against him. His twitter mentions were set on fire with insults and there was even thoughts that he would lose his job. As a media member representing ESPN, Broussard has to be extremely careful about what he says. Though he may have certain beliefs, he represents a major corporation and has to be careful not to offend or alienate anyone. As is necessary, Broussard had to release a follow-up statement clarifying what he meant. “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. 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.” ESPN also released a statement in order to protect themselves: “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.”
NFL wide receiver Mike Wallace also caused a tidal storm for his opinion. He tweeted this from his account:
Wallace tweeted his opinion and the fact that he didn’t understand the lifestyle but unfortunately the comments weren’t politically correct. The wording came off as insensitive and bashing homosexuality. Wallace posted a follow up tweet:
The Dolphins also followed up with a statement:
“Mike Wallace has apologized for his comments, and we have addressed the matter with him. Mike’s comments do not reflect the views of the Miami Dolphins. We believe in a culture of inclusiveness and respect, and any statements to the contrary are in no way acceptable to our organization.
“We will address the entire team about our policy of inclusion and make sure they all understand the importance of respecting individual choices.”
By no means am I condoning bigotry, hatred or inequality just simply stating the consequences of disagreeing with the lifestyle. You will be held accountable for your words especially if they go against the majority. We have to remember to respect the opinions and feelings of others even if they don’t coincide with our own. The problem is the line between disagreeing and offensive is extremely thin. I think it’s great that people are able to come out and live normal lives but we may never find a happy medium.