Of Fists and Knees (OPEN THREAD)

On October 16, 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who were representing the United States at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, won the gold and bronze medals, respectively, for the 200 meter race.

During the medal ceremony, Smith and Carlos raised their black-gloved fists into the air in what Smith described was “a human rights salute” to protest a wide array of human rights abuses, especially those suffered by black persons.

The International Olympic Committee responded by expelling Smith and Carlos from the games. As The New York Times reported:

The decision to dismiss the athletes was made early this morning after the [US] committee had been summoned into a conference by the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee. Members of the United States committee, who were divided on the question of whether action should be taken, emphasized that the dismissals were by edict of the international unit. The I.O.C. had indicated, it was said, that it might bar the entire United States team from further participation if the athletes were not disciplined.

Fast-forward to 2016:  San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, sits down during the playing of the National Anthem prior to a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Afterwards, he explained his “rationale”:

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

Since then, Kaepernick had chosen to take a knee in response to the playing of the National Anthem (before he kicked himself out of a job). A few players followed suit, but most of them, black and white, remained standing during the playing of The Star Spangled Banner.

Then President Trump stepped into the controversy:


Now, players all over the league are taking a knee in “solidarity” with those who protest and in defiance of what they believe is a threat to their free speech rights.

First, they have no “free speech” rights while performing their duties for a private employer. True, the NFL has no rule requiring players to stand while the National Anthem is being played, but their insistence that they have this “right” to protest or that the president is somehow threatening the First Amendment is pure poppycock. They have every right to protest whatever they choose on their own time, but when their employers insist that they keep politics out of their jobs, they need to comply or find work elsewhere.

Smith and Carlos were rightly expelled from the Olympics, and every NFL owner is within h/er rights to dismiss any player who engages in political speech while on the job. The fact that many on the Left think this is a threat to liberty have perhaps forgotten to take a knee on behalf of conservative speakers who are violently denied a place to speak at various venues across the country. Perhaps they should lock arms the next time the Antifa shuts down a university because they hate free speech. Conservatives aren’t prohibiting liberals from engaging in political speech, but when the president says that such disrespectful behavior has no place during a ballgame, the Left acts like they’re being thrown into the gulag.  Liberals need to freshen up their understanding of civics.

Second, with respect to Kaepernick’s statement, the poor fella has probably taken too many blows to his head. He won’t stand during the anthem because this “country…oppresses black people.” Really? This country ended slavery, ended segregation, enacted civil rights legislation, has spent tons of money in government assistance programs and has created a work environment where he was able to make 11 million a year playing football. His apologists insist that he is merely objecting to police brutality and is not in any manner insulting our armed service members. If that were really the case, then he’d protest police brutality in the relevant jurisdictions instead of impugning the integrity of the entire nation. He would spend his personal time speaking out against the policies that offend him and offer what he considers viable solutions for what he thinks is immoral. When he protests the flag, he is insulting the entire nation—a nation that is the envy of the world.

What Kaepernick doesn’t realize (How could he? He’s a liberal.) is that when he protests the nation, he is protesting civil rights and equal justice under the law. It may not be a perfect system, but it is far, FAR better than what it was just a few decades ago. When you attack the nation that has helped you and your people to prosper (excepting the Democratic Party), then you are attacking the very system that has enabled you to be a millionaire. You don’t trash the country over some evil people in law enforcement.

By the way, law enforcement jurisdictions all over the country are putting cameras on vehicles and individuals in the effort to make them more accountable for their actions. Unless liberals want us to jettison our criminal justice system and replace it with kangaroo courts, what are we supposed to do when juries acquit alleged offenders? Are we supposed to hang the Zimmermans of the world because so-called activists want to lynch somebody for defending himself against punks like Trayvon Martin? Are we supposed to shoot a quota of white officers in order to assuage the Jesse Jacksons or Al Sharptons of the country?

When an innocent man is acquitted in a court of law, liberals “riot” because the jury wasn’t packed with enough Democrats, Antifa or NOW activists. Political results are all they care about. Pity so-called conservatives who listen to such garbage. Sane people will always punish to the fullest extent of the law officers who assault or murder suspects or innocent bystanders. They will not destroy an innocent person to please rabid apes like Hillary Clinton.

Somebody needs to teach some NFL players how to protest. They’re barking up the wrong tree.

Sorry, NFL, You DON'T Have an Unassailable 'Right' to Protest the National Anthem
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of September 22, 2017