Right call: Fox dumped James because he is too “polarizing”

I’ll start by saying that I couldn’t disagree more with Craig James’ views.

But that’s not the reason why James was fired after his short stint with Fox Sports Southwest.

In a statement addressing James’ threat to sue over religious discrimination, Fox said:

“At Fox Sports we respect all points of view, and despite reports to the contrary, the decision to no longer use Craig James in our college football coverage was simply because he was not a good fit for Fox Sports. Mr. James, while both experienced and knowledgeable, is a polarizing figure in the college sports community. Regrettably, the decision to use him was not properly vetted, and as a result he will no longer provide commentary on Fox Sports Southwest’s college football coverage.”

Exactly. The key word is “polarizing.”

While James has a right to say and believe whatever he wants, he also has to be willing to accept the backlash when it comes to his broadcast career. He has become a controversial figure whose views turn off a significant portion of the audience. I received several extreme anti-James Twitter responses after I published my post yesterday.

Sports networks like polarizing figures when it comes to their views on sports. But social views are a different story. In this case, Fox Sports determined having him as a commentator on college football wasn’t worth the negative fallout.

Obviously, the person who hired him at Fox Sports Southwest didn’t clear it with the upper executives at Fox. When the statement says he wasn’t “properly vetted,” it really means, “No way.”

Surely, James will make more noise here. However, it likely won’t help him.

Given his views, the fact that even Fox doesn’t want him shows that his sports broadcast career is over.





2 thoughts on “Right call: Fox dumped James because he is too “polarizing”

  1. Ed, I’m surprised you would be this blatant, clearly guided by agenda rather than objective standards. Oh, I almost forgot — there are no standards. Godless relativism long ago hijacked the media asylum. Do you really think college football fans across the SW disagree with Craig James on marriage as a sacred bond between one man and one woman? You need to get out more, my friend. If James is/was “polarizing”, how would you describe the unstable, anti-American Keith Olberman (who keeps getting hired, remarkably), or the arrogant Bob Costas using SNF as a forum for an unabashed anti-2nd Amendment rant? Obviously, James ticked off some thin-skinned atheist in the Fox Sports ivory tower by running for a US Senate seat as a “Conservative”, and now he is being punished. I’m not worried about James’ career being over. I’m worried about the end of First Amendment and religious liberties. If that makes me polarizing, I welcome the label.

    • Steve,

      The issue isn’t James’ views. It is whether a sports network feels he is too polarizing to be put on the air.

      For the record, I did raise this issue with Olbermann.

      ESPN felt it wasn’t an issue for Olbermann. Fox had a different view regarding James.

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