Mark Jackson has returned to the broadcast booth as an NBA analyst. He could be there permanently if this report is accurate. SF Bay is reporting that Jackson’s views on homosexuality may have been the main reason he wasn’t retained as head coach of the Warriors.
On April 29, 2013, Jason Collins came out to the world as the NBA’s first openly gay player. Collins at the time wasn’t on a roster. This past February, Collins signed his first 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
According to the SF Bay report, Jackson was asked about the possibility of adding several different big men to the roster. Brian Scalabrine’s name was mentioned and everyone involved had a good laugh.
Collins name was then brought up. Mark Jackson reportedly responded:
“Not in my locker room.”
Did that statement and Jackson’s highly religious views cost him his job?
Warriors President Rick Welts happens to be the only openly gay high-ranking executive in the NBA, and a supporter of Collins. Jackson though didn’t respond the way some felt probably should have.
“I will say this. We live in a country that allows you to be whoever you want to be. As a Christian man, I serve a God that gives you free will to be who you want to be. As a Christian man, I have beliefs of what’s right and what’s wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family, and am certainly praying for them at this time.”
The Warriors say Jackson’s views on homosexuality had nothing to do with his firing. Warriors owner Joe Lacob refused to comment on the matter.
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“I have no comment. We have moved on. I have made my statements.”