UPDATE: ESPN said in a statement to E! News: "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."
Though NBA player Jason Collins was being applauded from many corners of the sporting world and beyond today for publicly revealing that he is gay, not everyone was clapping.
Asked his thoughts during an appearance on Outside the Lines about Collins also identifying himself as a Christian, ESPN The Magazine writer Chris Broussard didn't condone Collins for coming out. And he appears to be concerned for the Washington Wizards center's immortal soul as well.
In turn, Broussard's remarks—deemed offensive by many and courageous by many more—prompted an instant cry for ESPN to call foul on the longtime basketball analyst. (There's been no comment from the network as yet.)
"If you're openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits," Broussard said on OTL. "It says, you know, that's a sin. And if you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be—not just homosexuality. Adultery, fornication, premartial sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be—I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ."
"So," he continued, "I would not characterize that person as a Christian, 'cause I don't think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian."
Fellow OTL guest LZ Granderson, a contributor to ESPN and CNN who is also openly gay, replied, "If you try to use a broad brush to paint everyone's faith, what you really are painting is a world in which it's comfortable for you, not a world in which—in this country—we're allowed various forms of religion. And just because someone doesn't agree with one person's interpretation of the Bible versus another, doesn't mean that they have the exclusive rights to dictate how that person should live."
"I would love not to have premarital sex," Granderson added, "but in this country, I'm not allowed to get married."
"Chris Broussard should read Matthew 7:1," tweeted CNN's Paul Begala. "Christ told His followers not to judge others. Congrats to @jasoncollins34. God bless him."
(Originally published April 29, 2013, at 2:52 p.m. PT)