Cancel the circus. Ron Brown won't be appearing at the Lincoln City Council meeting Monday afternoon.
The Nebraska assistant football coach had thought about attending to speak against a proposed Lincoln ordinance to protect gay and transgendered people from discrimination. Brown said he still opposes the proposal, but will sit this one out because of the potential overwhelming media attention that his presence would bring.
“After talking to a lot of people, including media and some Christian friends of mine, they seem to think it would become a media circus if I went to the meeting,” Brown said Sunday. “And that would overwhelm the meeting and the discussion. I didn't think that was fair to all the people who put a lot of hard work into this legislation.”
He added, “People already know what I think.” Brown made an appearance at an Omaha City Council meeting in March to voice his objection to a similar proposal, which was passed by the Omaha council.
Because the longtime NU assistant used Memorial Stadium as his address, he caused a furor that included NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman having to issue a statement that Brown's views did not represent the university.
But Brown said nobody told him to stay away. He's doing it on his own.
“Nobody at the school discouraged me from going at all,” Brown said. “Nobody said I couldn't go. I've gotten assurances from the chancellor that I can express my views publicly. This was my decision, after praying on it. I think this is the right thing to do.”
Brown said he made the decision Saturday, hours after I had spoken to him on the phone. At that point, early Saturday morning, Brown said he still hadn't decided whether to appear. After making the decision, he spoke to the Lincoln Journal-Star but didn't get back to me about his decision.
The reason why was a new twist for this veteran press wag.
“This is a Lincoln issue, so I felt like I needed to talk to the Lincoln (media) first,” said Brown, who emailed a letter to the Lincoln Journal-Star on Saturday, and then to The World-Herald on Sunday.
At least for today, it won't be a Ron Brown issue.
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