Craig James' Discrimination Case Isn't Nearly As Impressive As He'd Have You Think

Categories: Sports

Thumbnail image for CriagJamesSenateSign.jpg
When Fox Sports Southwest canned him last September after a single appearance, Craig James came out with guns blazing. Fox Sports had canned him because of his sincerely held and constitutionally protected religious beliefs (i.e. that gays are "going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions."). He was being persecuted, he said, and Fox was going to pay.

Rhetorically, James and his legal team at Plano-based Liberty Institute are still well-stocked with ammo. They continue to portray James -- a white, prosperous, Protestant male -- as a victim of discrimination, and, according to them, they are already racking up legal triumphs.

But James and Liberty might be overplaying their hand here just a tad. The discrimination complaint they so loudly trumpeted last week was merely the initial step in a lengthy bureaucratic process that could end in a settlement or could end in James' case getting laughed out of the Texas Workforce Commission.

See also: Fox Sports Fires Craig James, Failed Senate Candidate and Alleged Hooker Killer, After One Show

Today, they're proclaiming that a "charge of discrimination" has been filed against Fox Sports, which sounds pretty serious sort of like something prosecutors file against suspected criminals, but is actually just another name for the original complaint. The only news here is that the TWC has moved on to the second step of its statutory investigative process.

It's entirely possible that Fox Sports will settle with James at some point, or that the TWC will hand him a right to sue letter, and that a court will buy his argument that a) he was fired because of his stance on gay marriage and not because he's a mediocre broadcaster detested by a considerable segment of the Fox Sports Southwest audience and b) that this is a religious belief that is protected by the constitution.

Until then, it's probably best to keep the triumphalism at a minimum.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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21 comments
bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

It's sad that so many conservatives file frivolous suits like this - hoping to bully the people into giving them free money.  It's like they see the courts as a lottery where anyone can get free money.

linzd21
linzd21

You can't discriminate against people and then cry discrimination. You can cry hypocrisy though....cry it all day long

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

I hear there are some hookers who want to sue James for alleged discrimination against working women of a certain profession based on his alleged murder of their co-workers.

annff69
annff69

The TWC is only interested in cases over which they might get sued or cases with potential political fallout. Otherwise they stand with the employer right down the line. It's sad really.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

This his contract.

This is what you owe him .

A dash of Cash for hurting his feelings

Sprinkle in some legal fees .

And be done with it.

JackJett
JackJett

I am glad he is holding a sign that proclaims he is a CONSERVATIVE as I would have never figured that one out.   He is about as cute as he can be.  

ruddski
ruddski

TWC doesn't "laugh".

dingo
dingo

So he's white, rich, an unpopular blowhard and it may take a while so he is not eligible for  protection against religious discrimination if his claims have merit.

"(a)" above is pretty much a given as he was a mediocre broadcaster detested by a considerable segment of the Fox Sports Southwest audience and yet he was still hired.


The original complaint IS a discrimination charge, so what's up with the milquetoast fumbling about on that one?


I get nobody likes Craig James, but what a bunch of noisy journalistic subterfuge around the basic question of whether or not his is a religious belief that is protected by the constitution.


becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

Eric, I think you left out a word in the third paragraph. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I'm curious about the wording of his contract with FOX. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

With the Texas Workforce Commission, all that matters is whether or not Craig James was terminated from Fox for cause or without cause.


One thing that a lot of people forget about our Constitutional rights is that they apply to the relationship that we have with our government, not the relationship between two private parties.


That being said there are laws that do govern employment practices.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@bvckvs  Liberals never file similar suits?   Seems the game is often played by both sides.   A pox on both houses

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@annff69  The employer has the advantage in the first decision.  If you can prove at appeal that you were terminated without sufficient cause, you will win.  Texas is a right to work state, so they can fire you for any reason or no reason.  If you persist you almost certainly will win your unemployment benefits.

simkatu1
simkatu1

@dingo  If he had a sincerely held religious belief that black people and white people should not be allowed in the same room with each, do you think his employer should be forced to endure him discussing that viewpoint with his coworkers and the public?

Guesty
Guesty

@dingo  I don't think you get what the question actually is.  The question is not whether his religious belief is protected by the Constitution.  The question is whether he is entitled to keep a job in which his only function is to attract viewers if he has said things that turns off a large segment of viewers.  If your job is to be popular, saying unpopular things is bad for business. 


And don't forget that Fox has a First Amendment right to decide who and what to put on the air.  

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall @bvckvs

I'm not aware of any liberals filing discrimination lawsuits on the basis of religious discrimination.

That seems to be a uniquely conservative thing.

simkatu1
simkatu1

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  Right to work state doesn't mean that.  Right to work state means that unions can't make contracts with their employers that require everyone to join the union to get a job.


What you are thinking of is called "at will" work states, which now is 49 out of 50 states.   At will employment means you can be fired for almost any reason as long as its not because you are a member of a protected class.   Thus you can be fired for being too attractive or because you wore a red shirt three days in a row or because your boss didn't like your frilly penny loafers.


dingo
dingo

@Guesty @dingo  

You summed the issue up pretty well (better than the article).

Is it a pure right to fire based on job performance or does religious discrimination come into play?


James is claiming that Fox back tracked on its public statements to cast the firing into more of a purely job performance type of dismissal.


http://www.libertyinstitute.org/document.doc?id=130

simkatu1
simkatu1

@Sotiredofitall @bvckvs  NO.   It was to frivolous suits LIKE THIS, referring to religious discrimination lawsuits.   Although I think there's probably been a fair number of liberal Jewish people that have filed discrimination lawsuits seeking money.   So I'll still go with "both sides are bad".

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@bvckvs  Nice try; your original point was lawsuits to "bully the people into giving them free money. "



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