While it was virtually certain that NBA veteran Jason Collins would take some flack after becoming the first active male player in U.S. professional sports to come out as gay, it came as something as a surprise when the first sports figure to castigate him was ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard. Appearing on ESPN's Outside The Lines, Broussard, said, I'm a Christian. I don't agree with homosexuality. ... I think it's a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is. If you're openly living in unrepentant sin ... that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. The effect of Broussard's statement was to draw attention away from Collins, something that ESPN seemed to suggest in its response: We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today's news, it said. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins' announcement. Mostly, however, the response to Collins's Revelation -- which came mostly from fellow NBA players in general and Washington Wizards players in particular -- was positive. Oddly, the only comment to emanate from Hollywood -- where no major film star has ever come out while his or her name still appeared above the marquee -- came from openly gay Ellen DeGeneres, whose career suffered a potentially crippling blow after her sitcom was canceled soon after she revealed that she was a lesbian. During her monologue today (Tuesday), she remarked, You have no idea what a big deal that [Collins's statement] is.
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