Craig James, the former Fox Sports football analyst who lost his job over homophobic comments he made as a U.S. Senate candidate, is headed to the Family Research Council (FRC), a notorious anti-gay hate group that frequently peddles anti-gay misinformation on Fox News.
In September, Fox Sports fired James after just one appearance as an analyst on the network, citing anti-gay remarks he made during his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Texas in 2012. James called homosexuality "a choice" and stated that gay people "are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions." Explaining the network's decision to part ways with James, a Fox Sports spokesman told The Dallas Morning News, "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."
James' firing made him a right-wing cause célèbre, with groups like the FRC condemning the network's move, depicting it as anti-Christian bigotry. Now, seven months after James' firing triggered a conservative outcry, the FRC is bringing him on board as an assistant to FRC President Tony Perkins, according to an April 8 press release:
Craig James, a Fox Sports football analyst who was fired after the network learned that he had expressed his views in support of natural marriage during his race for the U.S. Senate 18 months earlier, has joined Family Research Council (FRC) as an Assistant to the President. In this role, Craig will cultivate relationships with like-minded Americans across the country who share a common concern for the growing hostility toward free speech and religious liberty in the U.S. He will continue to share his own story of religious discrimination and educate Americans to the expanding threats to our First Freedom.
"We are very excited and pleased to announce that Craig James is joining Family Research Council's team," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. "Losing one job because of his religious beliefs has made room for another: raising awareness about the threats to our most precious liberty - the freedom of religion. His leadership skills, his courage in the face of religious hostility, and his passion for faith, family and freedom will make him a great addition to the FRC team.
The FRC's anti-gay extremism has earned it a hate group designation from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the SPLC notes, the FRC has peddled the myths that gay people are disproportionately likely to be pedophiles, that a gay-inclusive military will endanger national security, that gay people aim to recruit children to their "lifestyle," and that the gay "agenda" "will destroy them and our nation," as Perkins declared in 2011.
In a bizarre turn of events, the kind of anti-gay extremism that got James fired from Fox Sports may end up getting him welcomed at Fox Sports' corporate sibling, Fox News. The network routinely hosts the FRC to comment on LGBT issues. FRC's Perkins just appeared on the April 7 edition of The Kelly File to blast non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.
Even as James begins his new job at the FRC, he continues to battle Fox Sports in court. In February, he filed a legal complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission alleging that he was the victim of anti-religious discrimination. It's unclear if his complaint against Fox Sports will affect FRC's relationship with Fox News, but his penchant for anti-gay rhetoric makes him a great fit at the notorious anti-gay hate group.
In a video posted on the Fox Sports website, reporter Bob Oschack did a segment purporting to welcome Colorado and Utah as they joined the Pac-12 Conference for the 2011 college football season. Oschack said, "Let's give the conference's two newest members a good old-fashioned all-American welcome by paying a visit to one of its oldest members," the University of Southern California.
Oschack proceeded to interview only Asian students who apparently didn't know much about USC football:
According to USC's statistics, Asian students made up 21.6 percent of the undergraduate student body last fall, and international students made up 11.2 percent:
UPDATE: Fox Sports head of media relations Lou D'Ermilio has apologized for the video, according to Deadspin:
We sincerely apologize to President [C. L. Max] Nikias and the entire USC community for the production and posting of the video. The context was clearly inappropriate and the video was removed as soon as we became aware of it. We will review our editorial process to determine where the breakdown occurred, and we will take steps to ensure something like this never happens again.
Recently, Fox & Friends' hosts and guests have made a series of sexist comments to and about women. Indeed, Fox & Friends has a long history of sexism which also permeates throughout Fox News and mirrors a culture at parent company News Corp that has led to numerous sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits.
Reached by phone at his Los Angeles office this morning, Fox Sports president Ed Goren responded to comments by Chris Myers portraying the victims of Hurricane Katrina as "standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government."
"There will be internal discussions even though it didn't occur on our network," Goren said.
Myers' comments took place on The Dan Patrick Show, which airs on Fox Sports Radio, part of Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel. Here is how Fox Sports Radio explains the relationship between Fox and Premiere Radio Networks:
FOX and Premiere Radio Networks have teamed-up to bring the considerable resources and talent of FOX Sports to radio. More than just a spin-off, FOX Sports Radio is a complete extension of the FOX Sports brand delivering the winning characteristics that fans have come to expect -- great talent, insightful coverage and the undeniable...FOX success.
Myers hosts Fox Sports' NASCAR coverage and contributes to its coverage of the NFL, BCS, and MLB. He also hosts Showtime's Inside NASCAR show.
Goren added: "I don't think it's appropriate for any sportscaster to be discussing politics, religion, etc. And that point is made in every one of our seminars from NASCAR to football."
Here is what Myers said on Monday:
It's a great country here. We have disasters issues when people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.
And Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, Tony Stewart, among some drivers went from the race over to the middle Tennessee area where still a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives and they are helping out. And I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville helping, without making a big deal out of it and I think that's a good thing.
Calls to Fox Sports Radio president Don Martin were not returned.
Yesterday, Fox Sports reporter Chris Myers guest hosted The Dan Patrick Show and raised some eyebrows with comments about the flooding in Nashville. As noted by the sports blog The Big Lead, Myers said:
MYERS: It's a great country here. We have disasters issues when people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.
And Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, Tony Stewart, among some drivers went from the race over to the middle Tennesee area where still a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives and they are helping out. And I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville helping, without making a big deal out of it and I think that's a good thing.
Myers' comments about the people of New Orleans are disgusting.