Fired broadcaster Craig James is threatening a lawsuit unless Fox hires him back.
James was hired on Aug. 30 as part of the studio analysis team for Fox College Saturday, but days later he was fired for comments made during his campaign for the Texas Senate regarding his stance on gay marriage.
“People choose to be gay,” he said during a campaign appearance in April 2012. “I think it’s a choice, I do. Same-sex marriage, if someone chooses to do that, that’s done. And God’s going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions. And in that case right there, they’re going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions.”
A Fox Sports Southwest 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.”
But James is saying that Fox’s actions are discriminatory and his legal team sent a letter to Fox stating as much. The letter claims James was fired for his religious beliefs, which is a violation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“The actions have also led to the breach of Craig James‘ contract and the impugnment of his career,” the letter states. “We demand the immediate reinstatement [of] Mr. James to the on-air college football analyst position. If you refuse to reinstate Mr. James, millions of Americans will be left with the impression that you do not respect religious liberty and Liberty Institute will be forced to pursue subsequent legal options.”
James, a former SMU and NFL player, isn’t exactly the most popular figure in college sports and this legal threat won’t add to that popularity. Fox is in a bit of a bind because it doesn’t want to face a civil suit, but at the same time, how could anyone work with James after this brouhaha?
According to Sports Illustrated, the upper management was not consulted on the James hire and was not happy about it in the first place.
I’m no lawyer, so I don’t know if James’ suit would have credibility or if this is just bullying by a guy with a lot of money, but it seems to me that Fox Sports Southwest should have done its homework on James’ very public Senate campaign – and all of the comments he made during it - before hiring him.