If you’re a sports fan, you might recollect having seen announcer Craig James covering college football on the Fox Sports Southwest channel a couple years ago — albeit briefly.
In fact, James was virtually gone after a couple eye blinks, with a senior company spokesperson saying that his dismissal was based solely on discriminatory comments he made that couldn’t be countenanced at the network.
“He couldn’t say those things here,” stated the official following the network’s decision to proceed without James after his appearance on a single episode of a talk show.
.James casts his departure — which he terms an illegal firing — as based on something altogether different, namely, the network’s unconstitutional denial of his religious rights and freedoms at the workplace.
Here’s where James and Fox differ. James views what is clearly an anti-gay bias as part and parcel of his religious beliefs; indeed, he made that clear during a 2013 U.S. Senate campaign in which he participated (he lost).
Fox, conversely, regards James’ statements in a more narrow fashion.
“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” said the above-cited company official.
Those varying views will now be tested in a court of law, following the recent filing by James of a federal lawsuit alleging religious discrimination as the reason for his severed employment relationship with Fox.
Fox calls the litigation “baseless,” adding that the network’s move “had nothing to do with Mr. James’ religious views.”
James vigorously disputes those statements, vowing to “make sure Fox Sports knows they aren’t above the law.”
Source: The Washington Post, “Craig James sues Fox Sports, alleging religious discrimination,” Matt Bonesteel, Aug. 4, 2015