SBD/May 3, 2013/Media

Already Looking: Lipsyte Points To Broussard Comments As Likely Ombudsman Story

ESPN's new ombudsman will not comment on Brousard until he begins his term
While ESPN analyst Chris Broussard's "controversial comments about Jason Collins revealing his homosexuality predate Robert Lipsyte's tenure as ESPN ombudsman," Lipsyte is "using the episode as an internal 'dry run,'" according to Michael Malone of BROADCASTING & CABLE. Lipsyte said, "I'm thinking about it a lot. I think it's certainly an ombudsman story." Lipsyte said that he is "reviewing Broussard's comments on 'Outside the Lines,' during which the veteran basketball reporter called homosexuality a sin," but added that it "wouldn't be appropriate to render judgment on the episode before his tenure begins" on June 1 (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 5/2). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes viewers should "put aside the pros and cons of a TV basketball analyst wading on-air into sweeping positions of a worldwide religion" and just be "glad it's still allowed, rather than snuffed out by the many hours of TV sports yak devoted to evaluating cliches and conventional wisdom as if those elements were interesting." Sports is "just another human activity," and ESPN and its viewers "shouldn't get too worked up with humankind's larger question occasionally showing up in the proverbial toy department that is TV sports" (USA TODAY, 5/3).

NO DISCLIPLINE NEEDED: ESPN has not knowingly disclipined Broussard, and NBA.com's David Aldridge wrote Broussard "shouldn't be punished in any way" for honestly expressing his viewpoints on the issue. It was "not a revelation to the producers of OTL that Chris believed what he said he believed" (NBA.com, 5/2). But in Miami, Greg Cote noted faith-based group Faithful America is "collecting online signatures calling for ESPN to suspend Broussard for what the group's executive director Michael Sherrard called allowing Broussard to 'mischaracterize our faith and use the teachings of Jesus as the basis for gay-bashing'" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 5/1).
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