Fox Sports football announcer fired over 2011 remarks on homosexuality
LOS ANGELES, September 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Thou shalt not refer to homosexuality as “a choice” – at least not if you ever want to work for Fox Sports.
That’s the lesson announcer Craig James learned this week when he was fired from his job covering college football after just one appearance, because of remarks he made on the campaign trail during his unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate back in 2011.
During a Republican primary debate for the Texas nomination, James criticized one of his opponents, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, for marching in gay pride parades, saying, “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.”
The moderator then asked him, “Do you think people choose to be gay?”
James answered, “I think it’s a choice, I do.”
“It’s not in the genes?” the moderator asked.
“I think that you have to make that choice,” James replied. “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.”
Now, two years later, James has paid for those remarks with his livelihood. After only one appearance on Fox Sports, he was abruptly yanked from their lineup, with an anonymous Fox executive telling Sports Illustrated columnist Richard Deitsch that the hire “had not been fully vetted at the highest levels of Fox Sports management.”
On Friday, another unnamed Fox executive confirmed to the Dallas Morning Newsthat James’s statements during the debate two years ago were the reason for his firing.
“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” the Fox spokesman said, adding, “He couldn’t say those things here.”
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James isn't the first sportscaster to be fired over remarks on homosexuality.
On May 10, 2011, top Canadian sportscaster Damian Goddard tweeted that he “completely and wholeheartedly” supports “the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.” Rogers Sportsnet immediately distanced themselves from the tweet, and then fired him within 24 hours.