The Nebraska-based football coach who said it would be an "honor" to be fired for his anti-gay views now says he would tolerate an openly gay player.
Nebraska Cornhuskers assistant coach Ron Brown penned his views in a letter to the Journal Star which has been reprinted by Husker Extra, in which he spoke in favor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's anti-discrimination policy.
"As a follower of Jesus Christ, and a UNL employee for twenty-two years, I haven't, nor will I violate this policy," he said. "Not all of my players have agreed with the Bible's views. One example, of many, would be those choosing heterosexual sex outside of marriage. Though the Bible teaches this as sin, I haven't penalized them with playing time or discrimination of any sort."
He went on to note, "If I coached a gay player, because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, I would do the same. If he didn't agree, I wouldn't penalize him with playing time or any form of discrimination." Still, he concluded, "I have and will embrace every player I coach, gay or straight...but I won't embrace a legal policy that supports a lifestyle that God calls sin."
Though the 55-year-old Brown's comments against a Lincoln proposal that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the city's list of protected classes sparked controversy, he now says the media frenzy prevented him from formally testifying against the proposal at a meeting this week.
"A number of fellow Christians who have been working on legislation and working on the nuts and bolts of this issue told me, 'Look, there's going to be so much media attention over you, it's going to take away from the issue,'" said Brown, who reportedly heads a Christian ministry called FreedMen Nebraska, hosts a show on a statewide Christian radio network, appears on a cable-access channel in Lincoln and writes a column for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' magazine. "Everything inside of me said, 'I don't want the media to stop me from going.' Then I realized it was going to be a circus, and everybody already knows how I think. My views stand the same."
Though Brown's devout views have been slammed as homophobic by a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates, he nonetheless defended his anti-gay stance to the Associated Press last month.
"To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we didn't win enough games," Brown told the AP. "I haven't lost any sleep over it. I realize at some point, we live in a politically correct enough culture where that very well could happen."
Take a look at some openly gay sports figures below:
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