With petitions, protest and criticism converging in a storm of bad press, the Nebraska Cornhuskers' notoriously anti-gay assistant coach Ron Brown has offered to become a martyr.
Brown, who regularly pontificates against the gay community in settings that range from the locker room to in front of the Omaha City Council, says it would "be a great honor" to be fired for what he describes as his "faith."
Though complaints against the assistant coach's vehement anti-gay bigotry have flooded University of Nebraska's administration offices for years, it wasn't until Brown testified at Omaha's hearing on its freshly minted anti-discrimination act that education officials joined the protest. After plunging the City Council hearing into previously unknown depths of crazy, Barbara Baier of the Lincoln Board of Education wrote UNL to request Brown's termination.
But Brown isn't shaking in his boots.
"To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we didn't win enough games," Brown said in an interview with the AP. "I haven't lost any sleep over it. I realize at some point, we live in a politically correct enough culture where that very well could happen."
The University should have an easy way to divorce Brown from their rocky relationship in its sound non-discrimination policy. "This is about using that religion to discriminate against others and build an environment on the Cornhusker football team that prohibits gay athletes and allies from achieving their goals," writes Outsports' Cyd Zeigler.
Supporting the cause, Hudson Taylor's Athlete Ally has launched a petition imploring UNL to do the right thing. Sign it here.