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Take a Knee

Possibly the last thing anyone needs is another know-it-all to pontificate about the recent controversy regarding professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem.

I'll leave the debate about the merits or "demerits" to others because my opinion on those things is superfluous at this point. Battle lines have been drawn and the war rages on.

Of course I have feelings about the issue, it's just that I feel differently about different aspects of it. That may seem like the safe route, but it actually guarantees that I will piss off everyone at least a little bit. It's familiar territory for me. Anyway, someone else has already said whatever I might say and who the hell needs an echo of emotional outcries?

So when deciding to put in my two cents (one dollar after inflation) I thought I would share what might be the possible positive results of the controversy.

First, it's the controversy itself that is positive. That's right, the controversy has brought the issue of free speech back into the conversation for those willing to listen past the noise to hear the sounds of an honest debate concerning free speech.

One part of that debate is the one about football players. (Yes I understand that some do and some don't think it's a free speech issue) Another is so called "safe zones" on college campuses. One more is the shouting down of opposing opinions on any range of issues so that others are unable to hear differing viewpoints. That also includes the attempts to prevent invited speakers from communicating with interested parties on campus and elsewhere. Finally, so called "Whistle blowing" is a contentious issue. You can probably think of others.

The debate needs to be refreshed regularly lest future generations forget why we have a first amendment and why we should constantly examine what it means.

One other possible positive that came to mind was my own debate with myself about whether or not I wanted to continue to watch sports on TV when I am not getting what I expected from the experience.

For me, sports are a distraction from unpleasant reports about politicians and other nonsense. When I turn on Fox or MSNBC (almost never for either) I don't expect to see a football game. When I turn on sports I don't expect to see politics. Either one of those things causes me to lose interest. I'm losing interest lately.

So I decided to think about un-watching sports again until the whole thing gets sorted out. Oh wait! I just remembered that tonight is the Bears / Packers game. I guess I'll just tune in after the kickoff. (Someone just lost the debate between me and myself, but I'm not sure who.)

I think I'll take a knee when the Bears commit their first turnover.

1 comment:

JGSackis said...

Unless the Green Bay Packer team rescinds their decision to link arms rather than obey the NFL rule on behavior during the National Anthem, then I will NOT be watching. They won't care, but I do.