On Monday, a lengthy interview with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at a San Diego church generated plenty of headlines. The biggest headline (elsewhere) was that Wilson and his current girlfriend, Ciara, aren’t having sex, because God told Wilson not to have sex with her.
The comments have invited a wide range of opinions. Within ESPN, they have provoked a Twitter fight.
Bomani Jones questioned the wisdom of Wilson’s position on ESPN’s Highly Questionable. And ESPN’s Chris Broussard quickly responded.
“Regarding Russell/Ciara u implied people trying to do it Jesus’ way by waiting till marriage r stupid,” Broussard said. “U owe all Bible-believing Christians trying to live as Russell/Ciara are an apology.”
Jones refused to back down, saying “not today” in response to Broussard’s demand for apology and then elaborating on the position.
“I think americans value chastity in a way i find silly, problematic, and ultimately, counterproductive,” Jones said. “I don’t apologize for that.”
Jones makes a very good point as it relates to the potential consequences of chastity — people (like Johnny Dangerously’s kid brother) getting married before they really should, so that they can have sex.
“If i was a 22 year-old virgin i would have hastily gotten married cuz…yanno?” Jones said on Twitter.
There’s other thought-provoking stuff on Twitter from Jones, which will definitely invite further debate among Christians who believe that premarital sex is forbidden and who successfully practiced that ideal, Christians who believe that premarital sex is not prohibited, and Christians who believe that premarital sex is forbidden but who nevertheless had it and/or are still having it.
For ESPN, the bigger problem is that a pair of its employees are squaring off on the subject, with Broussard firing the first shot and Jones being both candid and respectful in his replies. If ESPN is going to have shows that are heavy on opinion, ESPN perhaps needs to better inform its employees to handle any complaints about any of those opinions internally, not through social media.