×

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

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.

More TV

  • Composite Mieli/Davey

    Sky Studios Forges Production Pact With Fremantle's The Apartment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sky Studios and Italy’s The Apartment, the Fremantle-owned production company headed by Lorenzo Mieli, have forged a multi-year development and production partnership that marks Sky’s first agreement of this type outside the U.K. Under the deal, Sky Studios, which is the Comcast-owned pay-TV broadcaster dedicated production arm, will provide The Apartment development funding for a [...]

  • The Mess You Leave Behind’

    Carlos Montero on New Netflix Original ‘The Mess You Leave Behind’

    Netflix’s announcement of new Spanish series late last month underscored the platform’s intent to diversify its palette in the country while betting once again on one of their own, Carlos Montero. After co-writing “Elite” Season 2, and with a third set soon to bow, Montero has made the jump to the director’s chair for the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Holly Robinson Peete Pay Tribute to 'Good Times' Actress Ja'Net DuBois

    Actress Ja’Net DuBois died on Tuesday at her home in Glendale, Calif. at the age of 74. The actress, known for her role in the 70s sitcom “Good Times” as Wilona, the Evans family neighbor, died unexpectedly in her sleep. She appeared in several other films and shows throughout her career including “Charlie’s Angels: Full [...]

  • Bigger

    TV News Roundup: BET Plus Renews Will Packer's 'Bigger'

    In today’s TV news roundup, BET Plus renewed “Bigger” for a second season, and Netflix announced premiere dates for “On My Block” Season 3 and “Feel Good.” CASTING Josh Hartnett has been cast in Quibi’s upcoming series “Die Hart.“ Hartnett will play a fictionalized character of himself, an alumnus of the action school where Kevin [...]

  • Ja'net Dubois Dead

    Ja'Net DuBois, 'Good Times' Actress, Dies at 74

    Ja’Net DuBois, known for her turn as Willona Woods on “Good Times,” was found dead in her Glendale, Calif. home on Tuesday. The Pan African Film Festival, which she co-founded, said she “would be deeply missed.” Her family told TMZ the actress died unexpectedly in her sleep. She was believed to be 74. In addition [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content