Fox Sports Sued for Religious Discrimination by Former Football Analyst

Craig James is suing the Fox Sports network for religious discrimination after only days of employment. This is not the first time James has caused waves or found himself in litigation, but this time, he is the plaintiff.

On August 29, 2013, James was hired by the network and made one appearance, but just days later, he was terminated. James’ hiring came only months after he had lost the Texas Senate Primary during which he had made comments on gay marriage and homosexuality.

During the 2012 debates for the election, James opined that homosexuality was a choice and those who choose said life would “have to answer to the Lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions.” James referred to the accepting of homosexuality as “our moral fiber…sliding down a slope that is going to be hard to stop if we don’t stand up with leaders who don’t go ride in gay parades.” James finished the election in fourth garnering only 3.6% of the vote.

Upon James’ termination from Fox Sports, the company stated that they had failed to “properly vet” James before he was hired by regional level executives. To further, the company reasoned that James was fired “based on the perception that he abused a previous on-air position to further a personal agenda,” referring to a 2009 incident outlined below.

James is suing the network for at least a $100,000 in damages due to “lost friends, business relationships, and numerous business opportunities as a result of Fox Sports’ actions.” He alleges that he has been blacklisted after an embarrassingly short stint with the regional affiliate of Fox Sports.

“The case is much bigger than me…I will not let Fox Sports trample my religious liberty…I intend to make sure Fox Sports knows they aren’t above the law,” James said in a prepared statement.

Fox Sports is vehemently defending itself against the suit, stating James’ termination had nothing to do with his religious beliefs. They reasserted their previous position when he was first separated from the company.

This isn’t the first time James had to engage in a legal battle. In 2009, during a college football commentary, he alleged that the coach of the Texas Tech football team, Mike Leach, was mistreating his son Adam. Adam was a receiver for the team. Mike Leach was terminated after the commentary, but filed a defamation lawsuit against both James and ESPN, the network that aired the commentary. However, it was dismissed.

Source: LA Times, Washington Post