ESPN President: We Did Great On Collins' Story Except For Not Being More Careful With Broussard
The announcement by Jason Collins that he is gay two weeks ago was discussed shortly thereafter in an Outside The Lines segment on ESPN that triggered discussion and controversy due to moralistic comments made by Chris Broussard.
The Collins' story, which was broke exclusively by Sports Illustrated, did not become the lead story on ESPN.com for several hours as they continued to prominently feature the long-anticipated release of Tim Tebow by the New York Jets.
"I think we did great other than we made one mistake: The mistake was not being more careful with Chris Broussard, and there is a collective responsibility there," said ESPN president John Skipper in comments to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch and other reporters. "Chris Broussard's job was to come on and talk about the news of the league, how the league was representing it, and through a series of events he made personal comments which was a mistake."
Skipper said he spoke with Broussard and producers of Outside The Lines following the telecast.
"I had a discussion with everybody. They said, 'Look, we brought [ESPN.com columnist] LZ Granderson on to talk from a personal point of view, and we brought Chris on as a reporter and it was a mistake for him to cross the line into a personal point of view there.' We don't quarrel with his right to have any personal point of view, although we do assert as a company that we have a tolerant point of view, we are a diverse company, and that does not represent what our company thinks."
Broussard said that homosexuality is a sin and it is a form of "walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ."
Collins, like Broussard, is a Christian.