ESPN executives welcomed opinions this week about pro basketball player Jason Collins’ disclosure that he is gay — some opinions, at least.
ESPN reporter Chris Broussard had the PC police working overtime after he called Collins a sinner during the program “Outside the Lines.” NBA players who engage in premarital sex or adultery were “walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ,” Broussard said.
An ESPN honcho quickly followed up by saying the network regretted that a discussion of personal viewpoints had become a “distraction.”
Ever notice how often Christian viewpoints tend to have that effect? Bashing Christianity is just fine, of course, but defending it? Can’t have that.
ESPN added that the network was “fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.” Thanks for clearing that up.
Two dead but famous Oklahomans are headed home, one literally and the other artistically.
The body of athlete Jim Thorpe will be moved from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma if a son prevails in a legal challenge to the removal. In Tulsa, a daughter of Woody Guthrie is among those on hand for this weekend’s opening of a center that will house Guthrie’s archives.
Thorpe and Guthrie were born in Oklahoma but achieved their fame after leaving the state. Unlike Thorpe, Guthrie was underappreciated in his home state because of his political leanings. This has changed.
Thorpe has always been an examplar of athletic prowess, but his widow nixed plans for his burial here in 1953. Sixty years later, he’s coming “home” unless the legal challenge stops it.
Thorpe should rest on Indian lands. Guthrie fans should plan a visit to the center in downtown Tulsa.
A murder charge may or may not slow the track career of South African double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius.
Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day. He says he thought he was shooting at a home intruder when he fired several rounds into a bathroom door.
This week a judge in Pretoria said that if Pistorius needs to leave the country to compete, he can do so (with some conditions).
His attorneys argued that Pistorius needs to compete in order to earn a living. A 2012 Olympian, Pistorius is a hero in South Africa. As the judge’s ruling shows, he enjoys all the benefits that accompany fame and fortune.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis says he has important reasons to retire after this season — his sons.
Lewis has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars and greatest players during his 17-year career. He missed a large chunk of this season with an injury, and that allowed him to watch two of his boys play high school football. The eldest will be playing in college next season.
“I knew I couldn’t split my time anymore,” Lewis said this week. “When God calls, He calls. And He’s calling. More importantly, He calls me to be a father.”
That’s an important message particularly for the black community, where too many children are raised in homes without their fathers. Lewis himself was raised that way, and “that damaged me a lot,” he said. “I didn’t want my kids to relive that.”
He could have returned next season for big money, but Lewis clearly has his priorities in order.
We understand that Kevin Durant is a 24-year-old kid, and that so many young people today don’t think twice about peppering their conversations with foul language. Certainly it’s commonplace in the NBA, where Durant makes his living.
Still, it was disappointing to see his display after breaking away and dunking the ball during Wednesday night’s game in Atlanta.
After the basket, Durant faced the Hawks fans, bowed up and yelled, “This is my (bleeping) house!” Of course it was easily captured by TV cameras.
Durant has been the first-class face of the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise from day one. One emotional outburst, in a sport where emotions can run high, doesn’t change that. But here’s hoping such displays are rare in the future.
Best of times: The Tulsa University Golden Hurricane will play Saturday for the Conference USA football title, capping a 9-3 season.
Worst of times: TU’s athletic director may not be at the game.
Ross Parmley was suspended Tuesday just hours after joining Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett in a celebration of the football team’s success. The FBI said Parmley is an “admitted gambler” involved with an Oklahoma City bookie now under investigation.
Parmley has been AD for less than a year — much longer than the 74 days TU President Geoffrey Orsak served before getting fired in September for undisclosed reasons.
It’s been a rough year for TU’s administration, but the team deserves plaudits for its success on the field. At least one Oklahoma university has a shot at conference football championship this year.
University of Oklahoma President David Boren is urging OU football supporters to show Notre Dame fans the same kindness that Sooner fans bestow on other visitors to Norman. It’s a good move by Boren.
Notre Dame hasn’t played a game in Norman in 46 years, but the Fighting Irish did snap OU’s record 47-game win streak back in 1957. Some Sooner fans are still sore over that. Others just don’t like the Irish program, for whatever reason, as has been clear on radio talk shows and was reflected in an Oklahoman story Monday that gave OU fans a chance to vent.
There’s no accounting for knuckleheads, but our guess is Oklahoma fans will heed Boren’s advice and do as they always do, which is to root for the Sooners and treat the visitors in a way that leaves them impressed with the hospitality and glad they came — even if the game doesn’t go their way.
Before being sentenced this week to 30 to 60 years in prison for molesting boys, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had his say. What a pathetic waste of time it was.
Sandusky rambled for about 15 minutes, telling the judge that, “I’ve forgiven, I’ve been forgiven. I’ve comforted others, I’ve been comforted. I’ve been kissed by dogs, I’ve been bit by dogs.” He added that, “I’ve conformed. I’ve also been different. I’ve been me.” At another point he said, “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”
A jury in June had no trouble finding Sandusky guilty of 45 counts of abusing 10 boys over a period of years. He used his position in the community as an entree to have his way with them, and has been delusional since the scandal unfolded last year. Clearly nothing has changed.
Even if the judge goes with just 30 years in prison, it’s essentially a life sentence for the 68-year-old Sandusky. He certainly earned it.