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University of Nebraska Hires Homophobic Former Football Coach

Ron Brown, football coach, wears sunglasses and headphones. A football player, whose face is obscured by a white helmet, stands to his right.

Ron Brown has a history of opposing legal protections for LGBT people and working with homophobic institutions.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers football team has hired the infamously homophobic former coach Ron Brown to serve as its director of player development and work with the university's life skills program.

The University of Nebraska's press release, posted Wednesday, said Brown will "serve in a non-coaching role, mentoring Husker football student-athletes in numerous off-field development areas" and "assist in community outreach efforts of Husker football players and staff."

Brown was an assistant football coach at Nebraska from 1987 to 2003, and from 2008 to 2014. Prior to his return to Nebraska as director of player development, Brown was associate head coach at Liberty University, a school founded by the late Jerry Falwaell, a notroiously homophobic minister; it is now run by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty Counsel, a virulently anti-LGBT legal organization, was founded by the former dean of Liberty University's law school, Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In 2012, Brown testified against the Omaha City Council's proposed LGBT employment protection ordinance, which provoked a petition demanding that he be fired from his position at the University of Nebraska. In response, he said being fired for his anti-LGBT views would be a "great honor." However, he said in a letter that he would not violate the university's antidiscrimination policy:

"As a follower of Jesus Christ, and a UNL employee for twenty-two years, I haven't, nor will I violate this policy,: he wrote in 201.2. " Not all of my players have agreed with the Bible's views. One example, of many, would be those choosing heterosexual sex outside of marriage. Though the Bible teaches this as sin, I haven't penalized them with playing time or discrimination of any sort."

"If I coached a gay player, because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, I would do the same," he went on. "If he didn't agree, I wouldn't penalize him with playing time or any form of discrimination."

"I have and will embrace every player I coach, gay or straight ... but I won't embrace a legal policy that supports a lifestyle that God calls sin," he added.

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