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ESPN Responds to Chris Broussard's On-Air Anti-Gay Comments

Chris Broussard Headshot - H 2013
Chris Broussard

UPDATED: The NBA reporter appeared on "Outside the Lines" in a segment dedicated to Jason Collins, who came out as gay on Monday.

ESPN has offered a tepid apology in response to NBA reporter Chris Broussard’s on-air comments calling homosexuality a sin in response to Jason Collins’ coming out.  

“We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news.  ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement,” the network said in a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Broussard caught flack after Monday's special one-hour episode of Outside the Lines, when he discussed his personal beliefs in relation to homosexuality.

"If you're openly living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that that's a sin," said Broussard, comparing homosexuality to any other sex outside of marriage. "If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ."

Broussard was on Outside the Lines to discuss the potential ramifications of an openly gay player in the NBA, and he noted that there were others who felt the way he did who might have reservations about discussing them openly.

Collins made headlines Monday, becoming the first openly gay professional athlete in the NBA by penning a first-person feature for Sports Illustrated. He will give his first on-air interview since coming out to George Stephanopoulos, with the ABC News segment to premiere during Tuesday’s Good Morning America.

UPDATE: Broussard took to Twitter to expand on his comments:

"Today on OTL, as part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion on today's news, I offered my personal opinion as it relates to Christianity, a point of view that I have expressed publicly before. I realize that some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that. As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA." 

Additional reporting by Michael O'Connell.