Patrick Henry College
Former ESPN broadcaster and New England Patriots running back Craig James will be the College’s guest at Wednesday’s Newsmakers Interview with Marvin Olasky, at 12:40 p.m. in the Hodel Coffeehouse. James recently lost his job commentating on college football for FOX Sports after just one week, saying he was the victim of religious discrimination. According to an article in NBC Sports, James spent one week working for FOX Sports Southwest before FOX announced that he would not be back, citing comments James made in support of traditional marriage during his 2012 Texas campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate. James now says those comments were expressions of his religious beliefs, and he says FOX’s statement about his termination was tantamount to a ban on religious people working at the network.
“I was shocked that my personal religious beliefs were not only the reason for Fox Sports firing me but I was completely floored when I read stories quoting Fox Sports representatives essentially saying that people of faith are banned from working at FOX Sports,” James told Breitbart.com. “That is not right and surely someone made a terrible mistake.”
“This will be a newsmaker interview in the truest sense,” said Dr. Marvin Olasky, “because of its late-breaking nature and the religious liberty issues involved. It should be a fascinating discussion.”
According to news reports, FOX said James’s anti-gay comments would not be tolerated by FOX, adding that he was a “polarizing figure in the college sports community.”
James was a Pro Bowler in 1985 and had a successful broadcasting career at ESPN, which he left to run for the U.S. Senate in his home state of Texas. James finished a distant fourth in the Republican primary, with 4 percent of the vote. ESPN said during James’s Senate campaign that he would not be brought back, and other than that one week at FOX Sports Southwest, he has not found work in broadcasting since leaving ESPN.
Craig James won a college scholarship to Southern Methodist University for his standout performance on the football field, and won All-American honors on the field during college. After graduation, he played for the New England Patriots, starting in both the Super Bowl XX and the Pro Bowl. During the off season, he worked as a licensed commercial land broker. He also began the Craig James School of Broadcasting to train former players and coaches to be broadcasters, founded the Players Communication Network, one of the original video content providers for the Internet, and began Emerging Land Markets, a branch of his personal real estate holdings which focused on ranch acquisitions and development.
He published a book in 2009 called Game Day, which chronicled his tours during his college football spring training. The year after the book was published he joined the board of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a research institution that shares James’ beliefs in limited government and free markets. He also began an organization entitled Texans for a Better America.
James served for over twenty years as a college football analyst, spending time at CBS, ABC, and ESPN. Last year he left his job at ABC/ESPN and sold his interest in Emerging Land Markets to run for senate. During his campaign for senate, he spoke in favor of traditional marriage, stating that he believed homosexuality was a choice. His campaign was unsuccessful and he was hired to be a sports broadcaster for FOX, which lasted only one week.
James is now seeking legal action against FOX for religious discrimination.