Landry Jones, Rookie Steelers Quarterback, Supports Gay Players Despite Christian Background

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Landry Jones spoke with Outsports reporter Cyd Zeigler at the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Rookie Premiere.   He discussed his Christian beliefs and the novel perspective that they shouldn't interfere with having a gay player on his team.  Asked about how Christian and gay players would mesh on the field, Jones had this to say:



Landry_jones"There's not a conflict," Jones said. "People are people and God tells us to love everybody. And so that's what I do."  

"Now, do I condone what they're doing? No, I don't think it's right," he continued.

"But, am I going to go out there and not talk to them? Am I going to go out there and be hateful and mean to them? I think that's ignorant. I think we respect and love everybody. But, there's also a moral standard there for me, and I'm going to take a stand on that. I don't think it's right, but it's their life and I'm not going to go up because someone is gay and be mean or hateful and say terrible things to them. I'm going to treat them like a human being."

Jones recalls other NFL players, the notorious Tim Tebow in particular, with his strong Christian background.  During their interview, Zeigler noticed a Biblical passage from Philippians printed on Jones' hand.  But Jones also respects the gay community, and gay players:

"It doesn't matter if you're gay or if you're straight," Jones said. "If you can play the game of football, you're going to be on a team and you're going to have a job. Just like if you're in a regular business setting. If you can do your job well, you can do your job. You can get paid and earn a living and provide for your family, whatever your family looks like." 

Jones' words echo the recent outspoken support of former NFL player Kurt Warner and recently dismissed-and-resigned punter Chris Kluwe.  And though Landry is hesitant to fully support the gay community, Zeigler suggests that his may be the halfway-there perspective we need to embrace in the sports world:

If we're going to open sports for everyone, Jones' willingness to put his personal feelings aside and treat people equally is the kind of perspective we must be willing to hear. Just as we want men like Jones to accept us, we must accept them.

Comments

  1. says

    this would be encouraging and impressive only if every other “Christian” was a Westboro.

    however, every “Christian” is not a Westboro – so his “i won’t treat you bad but i do think it’s wrong” stance is mediocre at best.

    that said, i’m well aware that at this point aspiring to mediocrity is akin to nobility among these types of social conservatives.

    lower your standards and expectations for human intelligence and this comes across as a bold and encouraging move.

    so, um….yeah. congrats, i guess, on not being actively anti-gay and instead being passive-aggressively anti-gay.

    :

  2. Lee says

    Good point Little Kiwi. Most of the people who are against rights are like Jones. They are nice and friendly but still vote against us at the ballot box and elect people like Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. They are the people who don’t want gay boy scouts or want their children to learn about the existance of same sex couples. Most of the people who voted for Prop were not like Tony Perkins – they were like Landry Jones.

  3. says

    Who cares what these knuckle headed dopes think ?

    And I could do without reading their condescending variation on ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ delusions of righteousness.
    Dear Landry, go phuck yourself.

  4. will says

    He’s allowed to think gay sex is a sin, that’s his religion. He’s attempting to meet us halfway.

    Ok, I have to go outside & clear my head. Sometimes I get a little too indoctrinated by the Towleroad poster BUBBLE, posters who are outraged at EVERYTHING that does not tow the correct gay party line. Carry on, bubble people.

  5. Craig says

    First of all in public life why should we care what Christians think? We don’t live in a theocracy (yet). It’s a tyranny of the majority thing when one person’s set of values (based on a myth) is deemed superior to another’s.

    He does seem to be taking the love the sinner hate the sin thing a half step further and adding a little “live and let live” into it. Of course his true feelings will only be proven by his actions.

    I think he’s a sign of evolution in the millennials where they can be strong in their belief and still imagine others having different beliefs This IS a change from Fallwell, Robertson, Bachman, et. al.

  6. stephen stillwell says

    A Christian background has nothing to do with it. The majority of Christians in this country support equality for the LGBT community. Marriage laws passed in RI, MN, & DE because CHRISTIAN legislators voted YES.

  7. anon says

    I would need him to explain what he means when he says he doesn’t think “it’s right”. Is he saying that “being” gay isn’t right, thereby implying it’s a choice? Or, is he saying that being sexually active and gay isn’t right?

    You either are gay or you’re not. Simply “being” gay can’t be wrong since you have no choice in the matter. He could believe being sexually active is wrong. But, he would have to believe the same for all heteros being sexually active outside of marriage as well.

  8. Blunt Force Head Trauma says

    I personally do not think that it’s moral for people to participate in violent activities that result in serious physical injury, including brain damage and dementia, the medical care for which society/public/taxpayers ultimately end up paying most of the bill. But I’m not going to treat people like Landry Jones hateful, or say hateful things to him, even as I envision him being a diaper-wearing 55-year-old invalid. Treat him with compasssion, yes, but don’t glorify his foolish life choices.

  9. CHRISTOPHER I says

    I’m with you, Kiwi. While I agree this is movement in the right direction, it is disheartening to realize that our gay news blogs have to post articles of people saying “I do think you are going to hell, but I won’t actively harm you” as good news…

  10. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I don’t see how publicly *taking a stand* against the moral status of your colleagues is showing respect and love for them. If he truly believes gay people should be accepted and respected as players, he should say so without the provision that he also deems them immoral and wrong.

  11. Francis #1 says

    The problem is that way too many guys in sports have this attitude and this attitude is still more or less a negative one. It’s still condemnation. This is akin to what Demario Davis and Kirk Cousins said.

    This isn’t acceptance. It takes true acceptance and inclusion to make people feel comfortable in coming out. What we’re seeing from a lot of athletes is more tolerance vs acceptance. And tolerance ain’t going to change the game. Acceptance is.

    This is a good start. I’ve been thinking about this the past couple days, when Landry Jones’ comments were first released. It’s a start. It’s respectable. You have respect for me, I have respect for you. But it’s not “support”. His comments are not supportive.

  12. Francis #1 says

    The problem is that way too many guys in sports have this attitude and this attitude is still more or less a negative one. It’s still condemnation. This is akin to what Demario Davis and Kirk Cousins said.

    This isn’t acceptance. It takes true acceptance and inclusion to make people feel comfortable in coming out. What we’re seeing from a lot of athletes is more tolerance vs acceptance. And tolerance ain’t going to change the game. Acceptance is.

    This is a good start. I’ve been thinking about this the past couple days, when Landry Jones’ comments were first released. It’s a start. It’s respectable. You have respect for me, I have respect for you. But it’s not “support”. His comments are not supportive.

  13. says

    According to this Landry guy what we “are doing is not right.”

    That’s it. He stands in judgment.
    And what I meant was that the “love the sinner,hate the sin” is itself a smokescreen.

    Everyone who hates the sin, think we are doing wrong, hence we are “not right” in Landry’s words……what we are doing ( loving each other ) is not right.
    Thta’s the same “intrinsically defective ” doctrine of the Catholics.
    None of these Christians love the sinner.
    None of these Christians want to live and let live.
    I can’t help but feel that we are becoming so complacent in our mirage advances.
    I read that Africa is being formented by US Evangelical Christians (Christain Campus Crusade)against us; I read that in Tiblisi, Georgia 20,000 attack 50 Gay Activists, who barely get away with their lives…..and the attackers are led by priests !
    Where’s the “love the sinner”, dudes ?

    @ Will :
    A “Towleroad poster bubble” ?????
    How many more attacks in NY do you need exactly to convince you that anti gay hatred is on the rise ?

  14. MARCUS BACHMANN says

    Landry Jones, Rookie Steelers Quarterback, Supports Gay Players Despite Christian Background

    “Now, do I condone what they’re doing? No, I don’t think it’s right,” he continued.

    Um, Towleroad, that’s not support.

  15. says

    Yeah sorry I don’t get the animosity. Realistically this type of “love the sinner, hate the sin” attitude is the most we can hope for with these types. I don’t consider that hate. It’s ignoratn maybe, but definitely not hateful. Stephen also makes a good point that it wasn’t just gays and atheist who voted for marriage equality, it was open-minded Christians as well. I know lots of people try to make it like it’s a big contradiction but a lot of my friends have no problem believing in God and Jesus Christ as well as believing people are born gay and deserve basic human rights.

  16. Francis #1 says

    Sorry for the double post.

    We need to ask ourselves, regarding the whole gay/bi athletes in sports issue, where the line is and what we’re looking for. Are we looking for tolerance or are we looking for acceptance. If we’re looking for tolerance, we’ve had that for a while. Gay/bi players have been tolerated for a long time. There are guys who are knowingly gay/bi and have been tolerated for years.

    But if we’re looking for acceptance than most of these so-called supportive comments don’t muster up. I don’t think sports is as hateful as many let on, but accepting? Not really. There’s still pretty clearly this “other” mentality, we’re the other. We’re not integrated as a normal, average player, we’re seen as that gay player or that bisexual player. And heterosexual players very much are part of the problem with that.

    Can a closeted player go into a locker room today and not hear slurs? Doubtful. Whether it’s intended to slur gay people, it’s still a gay slur. Can gay players actually talk about their lives, their boyfriend, friends, parties, and actually LIVE as gay in the locker room? Probably not. And until that day comes, don’t expect guys to come out. Because statements like Landry Jones’ certainly aren’t helping the case.

  17. says

    while it’s important to keep “perspective”, perspectives require discernment.

    yes, it’s great that this guy isn’t saying “i can’t play on a team with gays!” his message of “sin” is utterly ignoble.

    you don’t compare yourself with “the worst” to make yourself look better.

    you compare yourself with the best, and see how you measure up.

    comparing yourself to the worst results in folks like GOP Senator Matt Salmon’s son – who thinks that his dad isn’t an anti-gay bigot, despite promoting anti-gay bigotry and prejudice and discrimination, simply because his dad is no longer forcing him to attend ex-gay conversion therapies.

    to Matt Salmon Jr, this makes his dad great

    compared to a father who would never support or condone prejudice and discrimination against his own son, or any other gay people, it doesn’t.

  18. Rick says

    At some point, some of you are just going to have to accept the reality that there are people who have genuine religious convictions regarding homosexuality being a “sin” and “wrong.” And Landry’s stance is the best it is ever going to get with such people.

    You are never going to eliminate religion; you can do your best to undercut the theological arguments about sex of any kind being “sinful” (I personally think the linking of sex with “sin” is ludicrous and not really theologically justified); you can expose the hypocrisy and insincerity of those who “cherry pick” Scripture and who have a double-standard when it comes to divorce, adultery, and other “sins”……..but there will still always be some who will continue to regard homosexuality as “wrong”

    And you are going to have to find a way to live with them, because they are entitled to their beliefs. You don’t have to like them, but you do have to accept them…..which is basically what Landry is saying his attitude is towards us.

    And in real life–at the personal level, most “Christians” do not behave with any more nastiness towards gays than lots of other people do…in fact, they behave with quite a bit less nastiness in many cases, often with no real nastiness at all.

  19. says

    your inability to be anything other than a closeted Troll proves every word you typed to be wrong, RICK. as per usual.

    so thanks for once again coming online to prove the rest of us right.

    😀

    you will know those of us with spines who do not accept prejudice and bigotry by our refusal to hide in the shadows.

  20. curt says

    I have no issues with his stance…am past caring whether someone accepts me or condones my behavior or life; live your life the way you want; just don’t stand in the way of my rights. Sounds like he feels the same way…truce!

  21. MichaelJ says

    Before I pass much judgement on his comments, I would want to know whether Landry supports: the right of gay people to marry and to have/adopt/raise children if they choose; the right of all young people to receive honest, inclusive sex education without parental permission and regardless of their families’ beliefs; the right of young people to organize gay-friendly clubs and activities in or out of school without parental interference; and the right of all gay people to live fully, honestly and happily without fear of violence and without legal or social pressure to remain marginalized or hidden — in short the right of their lives to be examples and role models of normal variation in the possibilities of human existence. If he can support all that — things that provide examples of how well life can be lived with beliefs different than his own — than I am not going to be concerned with his beliefs, which he is entitled to, as much as anyone of us believe they are wrong.

  22. seamus says

    Why, oh why, do journalists use the word Christian as if it were a universally defined term? It most definitely is not! In reference to homophobia, terms such as Fundamentalist Christian or Conservative Christian might be used. So many different Christian denominations now welcome and accept gays, lesbians, transgendered. It is an affront to them to be lumped into the broad term Christian. These Westboro types have hijacked Christianity much like the Republicans have hijacked the American flag!

  23. woodroad34d says

    So, how about this scenario: A gay player talks to a reporter and says “I really don’t care what a teammate’s religious beliefs are; if they can perform, let them perform. Would I not go and talk with them on the field? Of course I would. Do I think their religious beliefs are a bunch of hooey and ignorant? Well, yes; but I’m going to treat them like a human being…you know, like I do my dog.”

    Oh! Just wait for those who are “first among rights” to pee their pants and run for their misdiagnosed 2nd Amendment rights guns. I’m just totally amazed at the low intelligence of conservatives. This guy isn’t a total Christian; he’s old testament with a smattering of New Testament.

  24. JONES says

    @Seamus
    You want to help?
    Get some of the church groups that are for LGBT equality to come forward and condemn the hate voices coming form groups with religious affiliation. Make a video and post it here.

    Show us the Christian outrage against our condemnation heard daily from the Pope, the Bishops, and the clergy of the Catholic Church. Or for Virginia preacher Jackson who is now running for Lt Governor?
    Speak out. Do it loudly and clearly. Take your Church back from haters.

  25. Tom Cardellino says

    The one thing that repeatedly offends me about Cyd’s proclamations is his use of the word “must” when admonishing LGBT folks on how their thinking “must” change, and how we all, after decades of commonplace derision here in the USA by NFL members, that now we all “must” accept Cyd’s view of this emerging yet very infantile beginning of merely spoken “acceptance.” No, Cyd, dear heart, we don’t have to accept anything that seems more public relation driven aimed at that mythical “Gay Dollar” than an earnest effort by any American sports franchise to assure the professional sports’ elimination of long-held beliefs and practices that betray many, many years of grade-school, middle-school, high-school, and collegiate level systematic religious and just plain societal prejudice harming LGBT kids, teens and adults in their pursuits of their innate talents by being labeled with that pink triangle of a “F#@king Queer.” Much, much more needs to be done nationally and for years to come before I jump on the merely spoken words bandwagons of the NFL, the NHL, MLB, NBA or even MLS, where homophobia Worldwide still lives a robustly hateful and violent life in soccer stadiums in 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries. The words hold promise, I’ll grant you that, but Bill Clinton’s campaign promises were a hell of a loy of words that eventually ended up with “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.” the trust of the LGBT community, and that of other struggling minorities, have so very often been misplaced and betrayed, why Cyd dearest, “must” we accept this well choreographed offer of an olive branch?

  26. Nelson says

    I wonder why it is that so many of these Christians go by the Old Testament nonsense in Leviticus, which none but the most Orthodox crazies of Judaism pay attention to. Endless rules about silly things for no reason other than to try to keep people in place…

  27. Yeek says

    Nobody has to like the fact that I’m gay. They just have to get out of the way and keep their mouths shut about it until they’re behind my back or I ask them for their opinion.

  28. Ben says

    I think Landry acquits himself quite well. It’s heartening to see someone as young as himself think in this manner. But, he needs to realize that his very assertion that homosexuality “isn’t right” carries more than a whiff of “hate” with it. We can say he’s at least meeting us halfway, but the fact is none of us are calling his heterosexuality “not right.” We can respect his opinion, but it’s always going to leave us one notch down the ladder from people like himself.

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