Legendary NBA power forward Karl Malone, who once worried that he could be infected with HIV by playing ball with Magic Johnson, now says that a homophobic ESPN reporter needs to “move past” judging other people.
After NBA player Jason Collins revealed that he was gay on Monday, ESPN reporter Chris Broussard insisted that the 34-year-old center could not possibly be a Christian because he was “walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.”
“It’s time that we kind of move past that kind of thing,” Malone told CNN on Tuesday. “You know, it’s not for us to say because what’s in the Bible that this shouldn’t do this. We’re not the judge. You know, the Almighty is the judge, whoever that is to you, it don’t matter.”
“You know what? If you’re living your life and you’re happy with your life and you’re not hurting anybody, I say, God bless you. It’s time for us now to say, ‘You know what? That is his business.’ I support him.”
Malone added that he respected Broussard “as a person,” but “it’s time for us to kind of accept it, it’s here guys, we got to accept it.”
“He or she that judge is being judged,” he remarked. “The point of the matter is that it’s here, we can be civilized about it and we can go on from there. I’m a Southern Baptist, my wife was Catholic, okay? So, what I would say, our children are Catholic. We don’t care about all that. What we’re trying to do is understand other people and enjoy and tolerate.”
“It’s not an epidemic that if we touch a gay person, we’re going to kick over and die. That’s your opinion and this is my opinion. And I’ll tell you like this, I’m Karl Malone and I approve this message. I’m not hiding from anybody.”
After Magic Johnson announced in 1992 that he would continue to play basketball with HIV, Malone made it clear that he wasn’t ready to welcome the 12-time All-Star back on the court.
“Look at this, scabs and cuts all over me,” Malone said at the time. “I get these every night, every game… They can’t tell you that you’re not at risk, and you can’t tell me there’s one guy in the NBA who hasn’t thought about it.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ 700 Club, broadcast April 30, 2013.