Lawsuits happen all the time related to gender, sexual orientation and sometimes even political beliefs. This week, Fox Sports analyst Craig James has stirred the pot and put together his own lawsuit alleging that he was fired from his gig because he is intolerant of gay marriage. That’s right, not because he was discriminated for being gay, but because he believes he has been discriminated for opposing the gay lifestyle. His suit is taking a “religious beliefs” stance.
The new suit states that Craig James was fired after his employer Fox Sports caught wind of his anti-gay stance. It also states that the announcer has had trouble finding gainful employment in the time since and has even been harassed in public following the firing. The lawsuit says that despite that fact that James has expressed beliefs that the country’s “moral fiber is sliding down a slope” thanks to its acceptance of gay people, James is actually tolerant and even friendly with people who share different sexual orientations.
James has personal friends, family members, and professional colleagues on both sides of marriage and family issues, some of whom are themselves gay, lesbian, and transgender. James respects others, including those who disagree with him, as he has throughout his career, and merely hopes for the same respect in turn.
Here’s what originally happened. The former college and NFL running back signed on as a radio sports anchor and later an analyst for ESPN in the late 1980s, following the end of his professional football career in 1988. His career as a sports analyst was extremely successful, but then Craig James decided he would hop fields and try his hand at politics. He ran for a US Senate seat in Texas back in 2012, but lost in the first round of the Republican primary, after which he decided to return to what he does best: sports analyzing. James signed on with Fox Sports Southwest in 2013 but was let go after only one on-air appearance. However, Fox Sports has been clear about exactly why Craig James was let go.
Along with other anti-gay stances, during the analyst’s brief tenure as a politician, he was clear about stating he believes being gay is “a choice.” Fox Sports Southwest got ahold of the views Craig James put out into the universe and realized they wouldn’t play well with the rest of the staff. At the time of the firing, Fox Sports Southwest Senior Vice President of Communications Lou D’Ermilio told Dallas News that James' anti-gay stance just didn’t fly in the office.
We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn’t say those things here.
So, it’s clear that Craig James was fired due to his lack of tolerance for gay individuals. Now, we just have to see if his religious belief claims will play out in court. The lawsuit is happening in Texas, so I’m guessing things will get pretty sticky, and not just because it’s humid there.