My Facebook feed has been stupid for so long; many times I just scroll through and roll my eyes. I see so many people spouting so many variations of slogans on Facebook on both sides concerning the NFL.
“You don’t have a right to protest at work. I can’t do it at my job.”
“Players have free speech to protest and you can’t stop them or restrict it.”
I believe the whole truth lies somewhere in the middle. Please read to the end before you scream and rant!
Most people spouting these slogans online are not pausing long enough to follow their own logic to conclusion. They have not taken these emotional quick takes and opinions and applied them consistently to themselves. Too many people have taken sides and refuse to look at their own opinions objectively. It becomes us versus them, rather than standing on clearly understood and defined principles. We must first decide what principles we stand for, AND THEN we must apply them equally to everyone.
The Constitution is clear that we have free speech, but some claim that it doesn’t include offensive or hateful speech. So who gets to decide what is unacceptable then? If you ask a group of people at an Antifa protest and a group of people at a home Bible study to describe what is too offensive, you’ll get very different answers. This same logic applies to people all over the country; you will not get an answer that all can fully agree on. This is a slippery slope.
I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I know I can’t be compelled to endorse speech. That is what it comes down to for me. Should anyone be “compelled” to express ideas they personally find offensive if the majority disagrees with them? If so, this leads to mob rule.
To my liberal friends who think the players should have an unlimited ability to protest and use their platform to say anything without any restrictions while in uniform, are you saying this because you believe it should be applied to everyone, or just those that you agree with? What if it were a racist player giving Nazi salutes in uniform?
To my conservative friends who think the business owner can compel them to stand and fire them if they don’t, what if the NFL had an anthem to honor homosexuality or abortion before each game? Would you still stand by the idea that players should either stand or be fired?
I know an abortion or gay anthem sounds ridiculous. You may say an employer would never demand that. However, I once worked at a major corporation that “encouraged” all employees to walk in a gay pride parade. I told them I thought it was out of line. I didn’t lose that job, thankfully, but the social climate is not the same now as it was then. It’s not outrageous to think that some employers could to start demanding employees actively “stand” for such things. Would you want your employer to have the coercive power over you to demand you support things you disagree with?
Let’s be clear, I think the players kneeling are idiots. I think their cause is based on a lie (hands up don’t shoot, cops hunting minorities, etc.) but that plays no part in my opinion of their rights. I also believe a business owner should not be held hostage by employees that may hurt their business because, “they have a right to protest at any time, any place, and in any way”. I believe when you are on the clock it’s not your job to “actively” protest. You have no right to do or say anything you want without consequence. But I also believe your boss should not be able to “compel” you to endorse ideas that go against your beliefs.
If a player doesn’t like America, they should not be forced to honor it. However, an owner and the NFL should be able to protect their business. We have to protect the rights of the players and the owners. So, I believe the owners should have a right to say “IF you come on the field you will stand for the anthem, but you can stay in the locker room, if you choose.” That is not compelling them to come and honor something they don’t agree with, nor is it making the owners give the NFL platform to them to abuse. I would apply this logic whether it’s an American anthem or an abortion anthem.
You don’t have to stand for the anthem, but if not, stay in the locker room. Both the players and the owners have rights. This keeps both intact. They can say anything they want in their free time and the owners are free to not sign them after their contract is up.
I love this great country. I’m so thankful for the police that protect us. I’m in awe of the heroes in the military and those who have died for our freedoms. These freedoms should never be watered down. Thank you so much!
How do you feel? Make sure you apply it equally to both sides!
That’s my 2 cents.