Free Speech is a Vital Safety Valve

Tensions rise between the US and a newly nuclear North Korea, hurricanes devastate communities in the Gulf of Mexico, a genocide in Myanmar, new tax legislation is debated in Congress, etc. However, headlines have been dominated by another issue.

Par for the course, our sensationalized news-givers have chosen to lead with the controversy about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. Our nauseating 24-hour news cycle has covered this topic with endless interviews/debates full of people only qualified because they have a Twitter account. President Trump has also thrown gasoline on the news media’s frenzy by firing insults at NFL players using profanity and his famous “you’re fired”.

Anyways, it seems that people have come from every corner and from under every rock to give their misinformed opinion on this First Amendment issue.

NFL players, like all Americans, have the right to express themselves . And the NFL as a private organization has the right to discipline these players. These athletes are not kneeling or locking arms to insult the flag or their country. They are peacefully protesting what they believe are a serious issues or they are showing solidarity with their fellow citizens.

Freedom of expression is an important societal safety valve that allows for people to vent. John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” It is extremely dangerous and foolish to silence or disregard the grievances of a specific group of Americans. Violence is an easier answer when society tells people that peaceful protests and expressions are not acceptable (Trevor Noah correctly identifies the backwardness in the constant criticism of how a certain group of Americans protest).

One last thought! President Trump’s Tweet below is ridiculous. He lacks a coherent message with regard to this absurd debate. I sometimes wince at people not putting their hand over their heart during the National Anthem honoring the country I love. However, kneeling is a miniscule action (used as a sign of reverence for millennia) compared to what these frustrated individuals could do during our holy song that most people do not even know the words too.

Trump NFL Tweet


4 thoughts on “Free Speech is a Vital Safety Valve

  1. They may not THINK they are doing it to insult the flag or this country, but that is EXACTLY what they are doing. If my dead Vietnam veteran father could rise from his grave, he would even tell you that. Yet people like me are the misinformed ones? Hmmm….. Maybe you should go over to Afghanistan and ask the soldiers there watching this mess what they think about kneeling or even standing, no hand over heart mess as bombs explode near you or a bullet whizzes by your head. I bet you’d change your mind about it all. These over paid whiny babies certainly have the right to do what they’re doing…but so does the rest of the nation when they complain about them and what they are doing, and when they boycott them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have every right to be offended and whine whine whine.

    My point is simple- these athletes are within their rights and silencing or discrediting them is dangerous.

    Thank you for bringing up the brave men and women fighting overseas. They’re fighting for us and all our rights – including freedom of expression. These players are not seeking to attack our armed forces, our country, or the flag. These individuals are using their platforms as public figures to bring attention to an issue.

    We agree more than you might think – I too find it uncomfortable to see these people refuse to place their hand over their heart in honor of the country that I love. However, I try to think about their perspective and the injustices that many have faced.

    Liked by 1 person

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