Christians call on ESPN: Suspend Broussard after gay NBA player remarks

(Photo: Reuters / Tami Chappell)Boston Celtics center Jason Collins (R), grabs a rebound away from Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Atlanta, Georgia January 5, 2013.

More than 20,000 Americans who signed a Christian organization's petition, say Chris Broussard should be suspended from the ESPN sports channel for incendiary remarks he made about Jason Collins, the first openly gay professional American athlete.

In a petition formed by Faithful America, an online Christian community that supports social justice and liberal causes, 22,000 people have signed on to, "Tell ESPN: Don't Use The Bible to Gay Bash Athletes."

The group is directly targeting Broussard, a 44-year-old ESPN analyst.

Broussard found himself in the media hot seat this week when he recently spoke out in the debate about Jason Collins, the NBA's first active player to come out of the closet and say he is gay.

Collins had discussed being both a gay man and Christian with Sports Illustrated magazine earlier in the week.

In follow up to the historic story, ESPN conducted interviews with a number of analysts for its program, "Outside the Lines."

Among those interviewed was Broussard, who said that claiming to be a Christian excused the homosexual lifestyle behind the veil of biblical teachings.

"Personally, I don't believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly 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's a sin," Broussard said on the show.

"If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.

"I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian."

Since making those remarks, Broussard has faced a firestorm of criticism.

Faithful America is one of many who do not agree with Broussard's stance.

"When Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in the NBA, he emphasized the importance of his Christian faith in accepting himself and deciding to come out," the petition reads.

"Chris Broussard's hateful attack on Jason Collins for being gay was an unacceptable misrepresentation of the Christian faith. ESPN must immediately suspend Chris Broussard and guarantee that their network will never again be used for gay bashing."

Broussard has defended himself by repeatedly insisting that he is fine with members of the LGBT community and has "no problem with homosexuals."

On the New York City radio show, "The Breakfast Club," Broussard insisted he has worked with members of the gay community while covering the NBA on a daily basis, including openly gay ESPN commentator LZ Granderson.

However, Broussard admitted to the radio show, he cannot deny the words of Biblical scriptures 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Romans 1.

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