By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com September 08 2013 12:49 PM ET
Fox Sports Southwest has cut broadcaster Craig James from its fall lineup of football commentators because of past antigay remarks.
James, a former NFL running back and ESPN broadcaster, made the controversial comments during a 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Texas, when he criticized Tom Leppert, his opponent for the GOP nomination, for marching in a gay Pride parade.
During a primary debate in Dallas, where Leppert was mayor, James argued that same-sex attraction is a choice, rather than inborn or genetic, and claimed he would never march in a Pride parade.
"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," James said, according to reports. "I can assure you I will never ride in a gay parade."
In the debate, James also affirmed his opposition to marriage equality and evoked religious condemnation for the minority group.
“I think that you have to make that choice,” James said. “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.”
Shortly after making these comments, ESPN confirmed that James would not be welcome back at their organization, reports NBC Sports.
On Monday Fox Sports Southwest, which had recently announced that James would be offering analysis after college football games, told the Dallas Morning News that they had revoked their offer of employment. They cited to his antigay remarks as the primary reason for their decision.
“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” a spokesperson said. “He couldn’t say those things here.”