ESPN president John Skipper admitted that basketball analyst Chris Broussard's statements about gay NBA player Jason Collins' homosexuality were “a mistake.”
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Speaking to a small group of reporters after the sports giant's annual upfront presentation in Manhattan on Tuesday morning, Skipper added that ESPN most definitely does not share Broussard's views about homosexuality. Skipper's comments marked the first time a network executive has publicly addressed Broussard's assertions that Collins is “living in open rebellion to God,” which were made during the April 29 edition ESPN's Outside the Lines.
“We don't quarrel with his right to have any personal point of view,” said Skipper. “As a company we have a tolerant point of view, we're a diverse company. That just does not represent what our company thinks.”
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Broussard was discussing Collins' historic coming out as the first openly gay NBA player with ESPN columnist LZ Granderson. His comments quickly ignited a firestorm of media criticism. But he has not apologized and has even re-iterated his views in at least one subsequent interview.
Skipper said he spoke to OTL producers and Broussard after the incident.
“Chris Broussard's job is to come on and talk about the news of the league,” he said. “He made a personal comment and that was a mistake. We brought Chris on as a reporter. And it was a mistake for him to cross the line into a personal point of view.”