You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]


    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

  • 700700 + Ted Turner Dedication. December

    Ted Turner Tributes Established With WarnerMedia Gift to University of Georgia

    WarnerMedia has established a scholarship, internship program and exhibition hall at the University of Georgia to be named after maverick media mogul Ted Turner. The company has gifted $550,000 to the university to create the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, for students attending the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content