Golden State Warriors star Andre Iguodala has claimed that NBA coach Mark Jackson has been “blackballed” from the basketball league due to his deeply-held religious beliefs.
Speaking on The Breakfast Club, Iguodala opened up about being under the guidance of coach Jackson, who was outspoken about his faith and often lead church services at the team building and offered his take on why he had not been given any more chances to coach in the big leagues, despite being so successful.
“One particular issue was, from what I heard, was his views on gender or marriage, or what the Bible said on your sexuality,” the player explained, noting that there was tension with one of the Warrior’s top business executives, Rick Welts, who is openly gay.
“There were conflicts with that,” Iguodala added. “Everyone was talking about that.”
Speaking candidly about the issues surrounding the freedom of religious expression, Iguodala asked some pointed questions: “Are you allowed to express yourself, even if others don’t agree with it? We should all accept each other, but we are afraid to really say our beliefs!” he said.
Andre said that people should be allowed to express their religious convictions “as long as they don’t disrespect” others.
But when it came to the crux of the issue, the former NBA All-Star does believe that his coach was sidelined as a result of his religious convictions.
“You think Mark Jackson is blackballed from the NBA?” the host asked.
“I do, yes,” Andre replied, without hesitation.
Iguodala also flatly denied the notion that Jackson forced the squad to go to Church together. “We had a team of believers,” the player declared. “We were going to church regardless.”