Beginning of End of Homophobia in Sports

Beginning of End of Homophobia in Sports

It has been a year without a spring in Lincoln, Nebraska. Summer came in fast and hard, and the annual Red-White scrimmage had to be postponed because of a tornado warning — thereby confounding those people who believed all their lives that the game would not have been postponed even for an actual tornado. The whole natural world seemed to accelerate to all points of the compass. Summer had itself a running start.

There is a joke — actually, there are several dozen, and many of them completely foul — to be made about the "heat" coming down on the Nebraska football team as April turned the corner into May. One of the team's assistant coaches, Ron Brown, went up to Omaha and testified in opposition to a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance aimed at protecting gay citizens in that city. The ordinance passed, and then things got a little closer to home when the City Council in Lincoln took up a similar law.

Brown's opposition was clear and unequivocal; he maintains that the anti-discrimination statute is contrary to what he believes are scriptural injunctions against gay sexual activity. (Brown has made a second career out of being an "inspirational" Christian speaker, and it was he who organized the prayer circle after the Penn State–Nebraska game last season just after the molestation scandal at Penn State had broken.) "The question I have for you all is, like Pontius Pilate, what are you going to do with Jesus?" Brown said in Omaha. "Ultimately, if you don't have a relationship with Him, and you don't have a Bible-believing mentality, really, anything goes …. At the end of the day, it matters what God thinks most." Brown also said he'd be "proud" if his views got him fired. After Brown's testimony, there were calls for his resignation that continue to this moment.

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