Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III started tongues wagging when he posted this cryptic message on Twitter: "In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness."
This was in response to liberal activists showing their rabid intolerance by demanding, so obnoxiously, that the Washington Redskins be renamed the "Redtails." But the sentiment absolutely fits the reaction to professional basketball player Jason Collins proclaiming, "I'm black and I'm gay" in Sports Illustrated.
What? A gay athlete? Stop the presses!
This, somehow, was the largest news in the known universe. The "announcement is a monumental step towards greater equality," tweeted the lobbyists at the Human Rights Campaign.
With enormous ardor, on cue the news networks and sports networks fell all over themselves declaring this was world-historic. NBA stars like Kobe Bryant not only declared their support but bashed the "ignorance" of people who would disagree. People even wanted ESPN reporter Chris Broussard fired for having the unmitigated gall to declare an opposing view on that network, which he did eloquently:
"Personally, I don't believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals, if you're openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that's a sin. If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ."
Many, if not most, Americans believe exactly that — but they are supposed to be silent. Their views are, let's face it — Christian.
Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! Sports tried to say it's a free country, but not on some "historic" occasions, and certainly not on ESPN. "The last thing (gay young men and women) need to see is someone like Chris Broussard, who ESPN (and by extension, the NBA) trusts as its voice both at games and in-studio, to be referring to them as sinners who are in 'open rebellion to God.'"
Leftists are very good at arguing from intimidation that any expression of an orthodox religious opinion on homosexuality is like handing a loaded gun to sensitive youth who think they fit on the "LGBTQ" spectrum. It's just a fancy way of saying "Shut up or the suicide is on your hands."
At the sports blog Deadspin, John Koblin was also furious that an opposing view surfaced. "How did a special hour-long edition of Outside the Lines, devoted to Jason Collins's announcement that he's gay, turn into 'The Anita Bryant Spectacular 2: Live From Bristol?'" Allowing a religious view into the debate was "the total fetishization of opinion."
Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise argued that Collins wasn't taking a side — it wasn't a "monumental step" for gay liberation? — so he shouldn't be criticized: "Those who took this opportunity to call Collins a sinner are using someone else's personal revelation to attack and play God. Collins did not come out to express his contempt for anyone else's beliefs. So why express contempt for his?"
Wise expressed contempt for the Old Testament, for the Ten Commandments and for conservative religious people: "We will pray for the misguided souls in this whole episode. We have to have faith that they can get better."
One has to wonder if Broussard can keep his job in the face of a left-wing mob that wants this supposed tumor of God talk to be surgically removed from ESPN. It's easy to remember how media pressure forced Rush Limbaugh off the ESPN air as an NFL analyst 10 years ago for expressing the factually true, but politically incorrect thought that the liberal media were rooting for quarterback Donovan McNabb to succeed because he was black.
The Los Angeles Times even submitted this to an online vote: "Should Broussard have said what he said on TV?" Fifty-five percent said it was "fair game," but 45 percent picked "Not the place." Almost half of America prefers "the tyranny of political correctness." Our newspapers are eagerly measuring if the censorship pot has arrived at the boiling point yet.
ESPN then issued a corporate statement of apology to the 45 percent that they'd allowed a debate. "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."
They regret a "respectful discussion" occurred? Like many media companies, ESPN has made "respectful debate" and "diversity" into antonyms. "Diversity" doesn't mean "diversity of opinions." It means the tyranny of forced agreement or forced silence.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.