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Anti-gay sports commentator can’t find a job

Timothy Kincaid

September 7th, 2013

In February 2012, Craig James was running for the Republican nomination for US Senator from Texas. He figured that as an ESPN Sports Commentator, he had face and name recognition, but the pols (and polls) were against him. So at that time it seemed the smart and bold choice to be as anti-gay as possible, even giving (eventual) Sen. Ted Cruz competition.

During a debate, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (also running) was trying to explain that even though he had participated in Dallas Gay Pride, he was not in favor of gay marriage (he just believed in representing everyone in the city) when James saw his opportunity to get some press. (keranews)

Former television sports analyst Craig James then weighed in.

James: I think right now in this country, our moral fiber is sliding down a slope that is going to be hard to stop if we don’t stand up with leaders who don’t go ride in gay parades. I can assure you I will never ride in a gay parade. And I hear what you’re saying, Tom, but leaders – our kids out there people need to see examples.

Moderator: Do you think people choose to be gay?

James: I think it’s a choice, I do.

Moderator: It’s not in the genes?

James: I think that you have to make that choice. But in that case right there, they are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions.

Later Texas Republicans went on to elect Ted Cruz, who has certainly missed no opportunity to advance his opposition to civil rights or equality for gay citizens. David Dewhurst, who came in second, remains as the state’s Lieutenant Governor and Tom Leppert, third, went to work as President of Kaplan, Inc. an education company.

But James, who finished fourth with 4% of the vote, has had trouble returning to his former career.

ESPN said that there wasn’t a place for him at their network after his anti-gay comments. And since then he has been “decompressing” and “been busy with business activities”.

But last Friday it looked like he had a break, a chance to get back on television. It looked like FOX Sports Southwest, targeting good ol’ Texas boys, wasn’t so concerned about his anti-gay statements. (Houston Chronicle)

When FSSW general manager Jon Heidtke, an A&M former student, heard of James’ interest, he approached him about joining that network.

“Jon said he heard I was interested in getting back in, and this came together overnight,” James said. “I think it was the Lord putting us together. I went to the studio (Thursday) for rehearsal, and when I drove past the airport I had a big smile on my face.”

James will work with Erin Hartigan and former Texans quarterback Tony Banks. “Big 12 Live,” which airs at 11 p.m. Saturdays, is hosted by Ric Renner with Gary Reasons.

But it turns out that neither the Lord nor Heidtke had cleared the decision with FOX Sports upper management. And, after only one Saturday, James is out again.

And though James’ shaky reputation among college sports fans may have made it an easier decision, FOX is saying that he was booted because of his phoby antics. (Dallas Morning News)

During the campaign James took a strong anti-gay stance.

“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” said a Fox spokesman. “He couldn’t say those things here.”

No doubt the usual rabble will claim that James is being persecuted and blacklisted because of his stance for traditional marriage. And James will no doubt have a new gig as keynote speaker for the type of dinners that specialize in professional martyrs, where he can rant his bile to appreciative elderly ladies and Peter LaBarbera.

But it won’t be televised. Not even on FOX.

Comments

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Lindoro Almaviva
September 7th, 2013 | LINK

karma, lemme tell you, is the biggest bitch there is. I will come bite you in the ass, and it is not going to be a nibble, you know, the kind that makes you giggle; it is going to be the kind of bite that draws a LOT of blood.

KZ
September 7th, 2013 | LINK

I DO hope he finds a job, just not one in politics. There is no place in government for someone this hateful and ignorant.

“I can assure you I will never ride in a gay parade.”

What kind of ridiculous statement is that?

Eddie
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

I can assure you, James – we will never allow you to ride in a gay parade.

Hunter
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

The free marketplace of ideas wins again.

Steve
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

It’s easy to confuse FOX with Fox News, but remember that Glee runs on FOX. The company isn’t really like the “news” channel sharing the name.

jerry
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

Gee, I’d like to pitch in to throw a pity party for James…where should I send my two cents?

SirAndrew
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

“How sad. I certainly hope my tears don’t damage my keyboard,” he said, tongue practically burrowing into his cheek.

Jay
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

See the discussion of this story at glbtq.com, which cites this post:

http://www.glbtq.com/blogs/firing_of_antigay_sportscaster_offers_teachable_moment_for_bigots.html

randy elly
September 24th, 2013 | LINK

Clearly no tolerance here. Homosexuality is a behavior and everyone has the right to dislike a behavior.
Mr James is a good man who hired an openly gay man to run his campaign. His view on gay marriage was told in response to a question asked at a debate.
Christians love gays and leave it to God to judge us all.Muslims just kill them outright.
When i was young i was taught that although i may disagree with a view i should defend to the death your right to that view. Those times have passed.
Good luck with that.

Timothy Kincaid
September 24th, 2013 | LINK

randy elly,

Sorry, but you are mistaken. Homosexaulity is not a “behavior”, it is the inate direction of one’s romantic, affectionate, and sexual attractions.

And, as a Christian, do me a favor. Please don’t ever tell anyone anywhere that you are a Christian. Your ignorance and malice reflect poorly on my faith.

Ben in Oakland
September 24th, 2013 | LINK

Rand Ella– it’s both a great tragedy and a great farce when the best your sort of Christian can come up with it….

“At least we’re not as bad as the Muslims.”

Priya Lynn
September 24th, 2013 | LINK

Right Ben. The logic of christians like Rand is “The muslims would kill you so you’d better accept whatever crap we throw at you that stops short of that.”. Not a chance Rand. We don’t have to choose between you and the muslims that would kill us – we’ll take neither.

Richard Rush
September 24th, 2013 | LINK

randy elly said, “Christians love gays and leave it to God to judge us all.”

Thanks, randy. Now I have to buy a new keyboard.

From the respected Barna Group, a Christian polling organization:

Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-10-10-christians-young_N.htm

Majorities of young people in America describe modern-day Christianity as judgmental, hypocritical and anti-gay. What’s more, many Christians don’t even want to call themselves “Christian” because of the baggage that accompanies the label. . .

The vast majority of non-Christians — 91% — said Christianity had an anti-gay image, followed by 87% who said it was judgmental and 85% who said it was hypocritical. . .

“The anti-homosexual perception has now become sort of the Geiger counter of Christians’ ability to love and work with people.”

Ben in Oakland
September 24th, 2013 | LINK

But, Richard,!!! That’s not fair at all. that how others see them, not how they see themselves!

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