Does Craig James Have a Religious Discrimination Case? By Dan Atkerson on August 17, 2015

Employment agreement contractFormer pro footballer and longtime sports broadcaster Craig James has officially filed a lawsuit against Fox Sports two weeks ago. In the suit, James claims to have been wrongfully terminated back in August 2013 on the basis of religious discrimination.

In 2012, James put his broadcasting career on hold in order to launch a failed run for the Republican U.S. Senate seat in Texas. When a member of the audience asked James about his position on same-sex marriage, James replied that he did not support it due to his Christian beliefs.

Fast forward a year and a half and James was hired to be a college football studio analyst by the general manager of Fox Sports Southwest and longtime friend of James, Jon Heidtke. James’ first press release on August 30th, 2013 was met with high praise and heavy support, but the next day would be his last. The day after his second appearance on August 31st, James received a phone call from Heidtke, who fired him without explanation.

Days after James was fired, The Dallas Morning News printed a quote from a Fox Sports executive saying that James was fired due to his comments during his 2012 debate. The quoted executive said “he couldn’t say those things here,” despite the fact that James had not said any of those “things” during his short tenure at Fox Sports, or anywhere else that he had worked.

Discrimination in the workplace based on religion is illegal, whether it’s an employer refusing to hire someone of a particular faith, or an employer only promoting people who agree with their own beliefs.

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