What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
The NFL simply seems to love generating controversy over back-up quarterbacks who kneel. First, there was Tim Tebow. The media-driven message was he had no right to do what he was doing. Now there’s Colin Kaepernick, and the main-stream sports media has thrown a ticker-tape parade for him celebrating his “right to express his beliefs.” Sure, I could sit here for days and expose the hypocrisy in that, but that would be missing the point. What’s really wrong here is nobody seems to understand the dire mis-application of the concept of “free speech” which is being promoted in this case. There’s three reasons which illustrate why.
1) You Couldn’t Do It
Colin Kaepernick elevates himself from relatively-unknown shitty quarterback on a shitty team by taking a knee during the national anthem. You aren’t an NFL player, but you can simulate the intended effect by showing up tomorrow at your job wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt. There will be a lot of chatter about the guy from accounting whose “making a statement,” but then you’ll be called into the HR office and given a Bill Lumbergh-esque “Ummm..if you could not wear that shirt, that’d be great” chiding.
The reason why that will happen is rather simple. Whether you are an accountant or a back-up quarterback, things you do on your employer’s property while on your employer’s time are not subject to the commonly held “free speech” rules. Those only exist between individuals and the government.
That’s why people get paid to go to work. Football players get paid to play football so that the NFL can make money from people who want to watch football. If players start screwing with that (and judging by the opening weekend’s TV ratings, that’s EXACTLY what’s happening), then the NFL has a problem. Since the NFL is too gutless to defend it’s product against the actions of a few self-absorbed jerk-offs, it’s going to lose viewers and ultimately sponsors. Then people start losing their jobs. I’ll come back to that point.
2) You’re A Hypocrite
Not necessarily “you” per se, unless you are one of those people who bawled about comments made by the likes of Curt Schilling and Hope Solo. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; you know something is obvious when even a 2-watt appliance bulb like Mike Greenberg gets it.
“You’re either for free speech or you aren’t.”
The hypocrites are the ones who think the message matters to the notion of “free speech.” You can’t incite a riot; you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, but “free speech” doesn’t exist to protect “Gee, what lovely weather we’re having.” It exists to protect “No trannies in the ladies room,” “The Swedes played like cowards,” and “America oppresses black people.”
An America with true true “Free Speech” means Americans can say all three of those things…whether you like them or not.
3) It’s Not What You Say, It’s Where You Say It
I’m going to answer the question before you ask it. The difference between Schilling, Solo, and Kaepernick is not what they said, or whose political toes they stepped on. I alluded to this in Point #1.
There’s more hypocrisy in criticism of Hope solo coming from the sports media since the “Cowards” comment was an answer to one to one of those inane post-game interview questions which are designed precisely to illicit “hot” comments. She didn’t show up to a game wearing a t-shirt which said “Swedes are Cowards.” She offered an opinion on a style of play when asked a direct question.
Then there’s the matter of the meme Curt Schilling posted in Twitter on an account belonging exclusively to him; with absolutely no affiliation to ESPN.
I’ve heard this described as “hurtful,” “disgusting,” and much worse. There’s two components to that meme, the image and the text, and you can rest assured that Schilling’s detractors are focused on the text.
There’s not one “slur;” rather it contains many of the same labels with which the New American Left attempts to marginalize those who disagree with them; you know the very same ones the Queen of the New American Left just used to describe Trump supporters.
Hence the double-standard which people are now seeing through. It’s that double-standard which takes away Kaepernick’s fallacy of hiding under “free speech.” People who aren’t blinded by a failed ideology understand this, and they understand what the real root cause is. While I could spend all day illustrating that, it’s pointless to do so with the ideologically blind.
The real point here is Kaepernick is using the time and facilities of his employer to “express” himself. He’s doing that because he knows nobody…and I mean NOBODY gives a rat’s ass about what he does on a Tuesday afternoon. This presents a major problem.
By doing this on the NFL’s time, he’s screwing with the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people, all while doing absolutely nothing substantive to help his supposed cause. This sort of political horseshit is exactly why ESPN is losing viewers at a huge rate, and the NFL isn’t immune, as the ratings form the opening weekend show. Don’t forget, the NFL isn’t just about millionaire athletes. It’s also about beer vendors, office workers at team headquarters, and the guy at Foot Locker selling NFL gear. Shrink any business, and the little guys get hurt first. I’m not saying that’s right: I’m saying that’s how it works.
Solo and Schilling didn’t screw with anybody’s paycheck; that’s exactly what Kaepernick is doing. One of the classic sayings which illustrates how rights work is that your right to swing your fist ends at my nose. Captain “Take a Knee” is actively messing with the well-being of many of those he will tell you are “oppressed.” This is where it’s time to forget about ideology, sanctimony, or any other useless belief one can hide behind to justify an action. It’s time to look at what you believe, what your action does to further that belief, and what your action might be doing to innocent bystanders.
Again, we could argue about Kaepernick’s “rights,” but the point is how he’s exercising them is wrong. If you support what’s he doing, then you are wrong as well. It’s that simple.