Did ESPN’s Chris Broussard Rally the Religious ‘Duck Dynasty’ Movement?

chris broussard jason collins

Outspoken NBA analyst tells network his tweet wasn't addressing Phil Robertson suspension

ESPN analyst Chris Broussard, who drew a firestorm of controversy earlier this year following his anti-gay remarks regarding NBA basketball player Jason Collins, took to Twitter last week and told people of faith to “stand 4 what you believe!” less than 24 hours after the “Duck Dynasty” suspension of star Phil Robertson.

“Men & women of God always stand 4 what u believe!” he wrote in the tweet at 1:48 p.m., which went widely unnoticed on Thursday. “DO NOT FOLD, BUCKLE or BACK UP!” he added.

Broussard, a devout Christian, didn’t specifically mention Robertson in his tweet. He did not respond to a request via Twitter for elaboration on his comments nor did he address any of the followers who inquired as well.

Reached for comment last Thursday, an ESPN spokesman clarified on Monday that the NBA analyst wasn’t referring to the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch, who was put on indefinite hiatus last week after comparing homosexuality to bestiality.

“Chris told us the tweet was not specific to the ‘Duck Dynasty’ issue,” said the rep for the all-sports network. The spokesman would not elaborate as to what, if anything, Broussard was specifically referencing.

But the timing and nature of Broussard’s religion-tinged post certainly brought to mind Robertson’s own embattled cause.

It also was the first time the NBA analyst specifically addressed his religious followers since the Collins incident.

Regardless of whether Broussard was referencing Robertson or not regarding the tweet in question, he still certainly ran afoul of ESPN’s strict social-media guidelines, which prohibit any sort of messaging that advocates any kind of political or religious sentiment that isn’t relevant to the network’s core content.

“The first and only priority is to serve ESPN sanctioned efforts, including sports news, information and content,” according to the guidelines, which cite suspension and termination as potential consequences of social-media infractions.

While ESPN is taking Broussard at his word that he wasn’t citing ‘Duck Dynasty,’ a source at the network noted the tweet was used an opportunity to remind him of the social-network guidelines he’s expected to follow.

Back in April, Broussard made similar national headlines when he slammed Collins’ decision to come out as the first openly gay NBA player.

“I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ,” he said on television in response to the news, adding that Collins and similar homosexuals were living in “unrepentant sin.”

ESPN later issued an apology, saying the network regretted that the NBA commentator’s remarks cast a pall over Collins’ public decision. But unlike A&E, ESPN decided not to suspend Broussard.

Robertson has cited his Christian morality as reason for the GQ magazine remarks (“I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together,” he later stated) and has since received support from high-profile conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.

The controversy has also prompted hundreds of thousands of Robertson supporters to protest his suspension in petitions, including IStandWithPhil.com.

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  1. What really surprises me here is Broussard, who obviously has Afro-Carribean roots, stands up for the guy who says Jim Crow laws weren’t so bad. WTF?

  2. Kevin Scheunemann says:

    Why was this article even written?

    Even if he did “rally” Chrisstians to action…so what?

    People don’t have the right to rally others to action?

    I don’t see Variety criticizing Miley Cyrus for rallying people to immoral and destructive behavior.

    • People have the right. Broussard does not. He signed away that right when he signed his ESPN contract. People sign contracts and they have consequences. If ESPN says no advocating in your Twitter account they mean it. Did you not read the article? And btw, Christians only has the 2 letters S, the third you included made me think of Chrissy Snow, the Suzanne Somers character from Three’s Company.

      • Kevin Scheunemann says:

        Joe,

        Just what is, and is not, “advocacy”?

        If he showed an intro clip to a sports segment of M. Cyrus doing something provacative, could he be accused of advocating “vile”, destructive, immoral behavior?

        Everything is “advocacy”, or “political”.

        The idea that any speech can be reviewed, dissected, and filtered for bland, vanilla, non-objectionable positioning is Stalinism at its worst.

        I find Cyrus even more objectionable in speech and action, than you find Robertson, or the ESPN analyst…but you don’t see me looking to suppress Cyrus, no mater how immoral, destructive, and objectionable her behavior is.

  3. mike waddell says:

    Phil Robertson spoke his mind, people should not be attacked for that! not in the USA. A&E LOOKS REAL BAD .

  4. Malcom says:

    So how exactly did Chris ‘rally’ anyone when his tweet wasn’t even clear to anyone?

    What is clear is he’s sent an inspirational tweet to his friends, he hasn’t thrown himself into this fracas so why are you?

  5. Fausto says:

    We are extremely disappointed to have read A+E Networks comments on Phil Robertson, which are based on their own personal opinions and constitute a disturbing attack against freedom of expression and on Christian values. Their personal views in no way reflect the opinion of the vast majority of the population, and it is highly regrettable that they support controversial behaviours that degrade the human condition and persecute honest and lucid people that dare to speak the truth.

  6. Guest says:

    It might be good to note that Broussard was answering a question from the host about what he thought about Collins’ statements about being a homosexual and a Christian. The host asked for a response to Collins based on Broussard being a devout Christian.

  7. Jacques Strappe says:

    I really don’t give a lick what becomes of Duck Dynasty, whether A & E cancels it or renews it for multiple seasons. While I find Mr. Robertson’s comments repugnant and ignorant as he equates bestiality with homosexuality and his Song of the South account of the contented black experience picking cotton pre civil rights era, it is not at surprising coming from a deep south, born again Christian who lived a “sinful” past life immersed in the drugs, sex and rock-n-roll culture of the 1960’s. He’s just living up to the expectations of his audience as the redneck, white trash dude from the deep south as he stays in character for his GQ interview. Nothing new hear or particularly shocking. What I find to be offensive is the reaction of universal support by conservative Christians and Republican politicians playing the Christian faith as victim here. Both blacks and gays have been and continue to be victims of discrimination and hate, especially as waged by, not coincidentally, white conservative Christians and Republicans. The Christian faith has got it pretty effing good in comparision to blacks and gays. The other day, one idiotic, insensitive Congressional Republican went as far to refer to Mr. Robertson as the “Rosa Parks of free speech”. The Christian bible, like the dogma of all mainstream religions is filled with a fair amount of darkness, intolerance and hate (condoning slavery and public stoning to name a few), if one is willing to read it objectively, especially in the context of the present and not the time when the world was considered flat. One can imagine the rebuke from conservative Christians if Mr. Robertson made inflammatory and vile comments about the Christian faith; they would be petitioning A & E to fire Mr. Robertson and cancel Duck Dynasty.. Free speech is alive and well in this country. And sadly, so is bigotry, intolerance and hate, all in the name of the Prince of Peace.

    • Keith Coppage says:

      So compellingly written, appreciated. And btw, pro/compassion-toward-gays Christians are legion. It’s harder to spew love, but there’s tons of us out there.

  8. Ed Fardella says:

    So you try to be tolerant JUDY but only until Daffy Duck Phil gets sacked for having antigay views, is that your logic? In 35 states gay people can still be fired simply for being gay. Maybe turnaround is fair play.

  9. macca88 says:

    nobody is censoring anybody…faux-concern

  10. NJD says:

    I know is not all Christians, but trust me, the Pope has a lot of hate towards homosexual people.

    • NJD says:

      @Mo First, how is that different? (really, maybe my language limitations are making me miss something) and Second, I’m just addressing the part of Judy’s commentary in which she mentions the Pope.

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