Chris Kluwe | Football (American) | Landry Jones | LGBT Stories | NFL | Pittsburgh | Sports | Tim Tebow

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.

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  1. Hear, hear Rick.

    Posted by: Darren | May 23, 2013 3:15:41 PM

  2. I have no issues with his 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!

    Posted by: curt | May 23, 2013 3:36:18 PM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | May 23, 2013 3:49:14 PM

  4. 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!

    Posted by: seamus | May 23, 2013 4:21:04 PM

  5. Maybe he and Tim Tebow play couch hockey together?

    Posted by: Jack M | May 23, 2013 4:33:10 PM

  6. I feel the same way about Republicans so, I get this.

    Posted by: kirkyo | May 23, 2013 5:10:50 PM

  7. 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 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.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | May 23, 2013 5:29:12 PM

  8. @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.

    Posted by: JONES | May 23, 2013 5:33:36 PM

  9. 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?

    Posted by: Tom Cardellino | May 23, 2013 11:22:41 PM

  10. Um, despite my Christian beliefs, I'm still gay...where's my camera shot and interview? Poorly worded headline.

    Posted by: millerbeach | May 24, 2013 4:51:09 AM

  11. 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...

    Posted by: Nelson | May 24, 2013 8:00:16 AM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Yeek | May 24, 2013 11:02:27 AM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: Ben | May 29, 2013 7:06:35 PM

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