Illustrations about free speech: NFL owners and players are free to disrespect flag and country — and Americans are free to vote with their wallets.
If the NFL wants to let its employees use their unique bully pulpit to take a knee when the flag flies and the national anthem players, even while barring other players from honoring police officers who died on duty, that is the NFL’s right. And if millions of Americans decide that there’s more to life than seeing extremely well-paid men whine . . . well, that’s their right too. That’s how free speech is supposed to operate, with people speaking out and accepting how the marketplace metes out non-violent consequences that flow from their words.
A couple of things before I get to the images:
First, it was the Obama administration that heavily funded the NFL being overtly patriotic:
There’s something incredibly cynical about being paid to be patriotic and even more cynical about the NFL’s scrapping that patriotism with the end of Obama’s presidency.
Second, employers make speech rules all the time. Believe me, if I, as a young lawyer, had stood up in court and told the judge what I really thought (usually some variation of “you’re an idiot”), not only would I have been held in contempt, I would have been fired. On my own time, though, provided that I did not embarrass the law firm, I was free to exercise my First Amendment rights.
Regarding that freedom to speak when off the job, it’s the Leftists who fire people for pretty damn mainstream after-hours opinions, as they did to Brendan Eich. This programming genius, who was a prime mover behind Firefox, privately gave of his own money to help support traditional marriage and got fired for doing so.
Third, being president of the United States does not mean that one no longer has First Amendment rights. While President Trump cannot mandate that NFL players be fired, as that would be unconstitutional, not to mention tyrannical, he is perfectly within his rights as a citizen to say that, in his opinion, they should be fired.
Trump is also within his rights to play the NFL, both owners and players, like a cheap violin. He knew that his statement that the NFL should fire those “sons of bitches” who disrespect the flag and the national anthem would result in today’s rash of player and owner insults to the flag and, by extension, to ordinary Americans.
As best as I can tell, with the NFL getting attacked from the Left because of the game’s inherent violence and the damage flowing from it, and from the Right, because of the player’s whiny disrespect, it’s entirely questionable whether, a few years from now, the NFL will be a “thing” anymore.
Herewith, some images about the NFL today, both the good and the stupid:
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) September 24, 2017
[Click on the following tweet and you can scroll through the images Frank Luntz posted]
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 24, 2017
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 24, 2017
For a long time, we understood the struggle for civil rights to be deeply patriotic. To set these two ideals against each other is a mistake pic.twitter.com/bn4dUZqXRz
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) September 24, 2017