Craig James' beliefs may make him unemployable at Fox Sports Southwest, but they make him uniquely qualified to work at the Family Research Council (FRC). We're happy to announce that the former NFL star running back will be joining another team—ours! And after officially starting in March, James joked that he's already surpassed the tenure of his last job—which Fox Sports fired him from after barely 24 hours.
As harrowing as his experience was—being sacked for holding a view on marriage that nearly half of the nation shares—James and his wife decided to turn the adversity into an opportunity. At FRC, James will try to level the playing field for other Americans facing the same kind of viewpoint discrimination.
"The task is great and the challenge is huge for those of us who are fighting for religious liberty and freedom under the Constitution," he said in an interview about his new venture. "After I was fired by Fox Sports, I was deeply moved and emboldened by the countless number of people and organizations like FRC that came to my side. Now it's my turn to offer encouragement to others encountering the same kind of religious bigotry. While the challenges to our freedoms are great, I strongly believe the game is far from over."
Neither is his own personal case, which, thanks to his attorneys at Liberty Institute, took a positive turn last month when the Texas Workforce Commission issued a formal charge of discrimination against the network.
Officials also launched a formal investigation into the targeting of James, which was obvious back in September when a source 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."
Of course, the outrageous part is that James didn't say them there. His views on marriage only became public during Craig's Senate campaign a year and a half before.
This is exactly the kind of workplace intolerance that cultural elites are trying to force on the entire country—the same fierce prejudice that claimed Mozilla Firefox's Brendan Eich just last week. Under the current climate, expressing a politically incorrect opinion on a cultural issue totally unconnected to your employment is enough to get you fired.
Whether you work for Mozilla, work for Gallaudet University or serve in the military, you shouldn't have to fear being fired for holding a belief in marriage as the union of a man and woman. At FRC, James will help educate Americans on the growing threats to our most fundamental freedoms.
Calling it a "great fit," he explained to reporters that he's honored "to join the country's premier Christian public policy organization" and continued by saying, "I have a passion for Family Research Council's mission of faith, family and freedom."
As for his old profession, he says, "I'm not going to give up following sports. It's in my DNA."
But for now, he can help call the plays in a new defense—of our liberty.
Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council.