First Amendment

Tennessee Republicans Call on University Presidents To Punish Student-Athletes for Kneeling

These demands obviously violate the First Amendment.

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All of Tennessee's Republican state senators have signed a letter to the state's university presidents and chancellors asking them to prevent student-athletes from kneeling during the national anthem.

"To address this issue, we encourage each of you to adopt policies within your respective athletic departments to prohibit any such actions moving forward," wrote the lawmakers.

The inspiration for this letter was an incident at the University of Tennessee at Chatanooga last week, when the visiting men's basketball team from East Tennessee State University decided to kneel during the "Star-Spangled Banner." The players claimed they were trying to call attention to racial inequality.

If university administrators followed through on the senators' request, they would be violating student-athletes' First Amendment rights. Students at public universities enjoy broad free speech protections, and officials cannot punish them for engaging in political expression.

This is not really an open question: The Supreme Court ruled in the 1943 decision West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that schools may not require students to salute the American flag. Yes, the Court has agreed with limiting K-12 students' rights in some very specific cases—most dubiously, if students' speech appeared to be advocating illegal drug use—but such an exception wouldn't apply to college athletes engaged in a non-disruptive political protest. If the university could force student-athletes to stand for the national anthem, then it could force any student to do so—and this would obviously be unconstitutional.

Moreover, it's a particularly galling example of Republicans seeking to use the power of the state to squelch speech that they don't like. With their recent anti-cancel-culture crusade, conservatives occasionally sound as if they would like to be the party of free speech; this kind of behavior exposes them as hypocrites.

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  1. Now do Democrats pressuring social media companies, banks, restaurants, schools, and businesses to censor, punish, and refuse services to conservatives ….

    1. Don’t forget the recent example of the student athlete kicked off the track team for using the word “nigger” in a private text exchange.

      1. Or, the one issue that Reason is avoiding like the plague, a man being arrested, indicted, and facing ten years in federal prison for the “crime” of POSTING MEMES.

        One would think that if a libertarian magazine wanted to write about pressing First Amendment issues, they would choose to cover something substantial with real and immediate ramifications, like a politically motivated prosecution on the basis of content, rather than some college bullshit.

        1. Local story.

          Fuck off and die, Reason.

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        3. a man being arrested, indicted, and facing ten years in federal prison for the “crime” of POSTING MEMES.

          You’re lying as usual, misrepresenting the crime to paint the defendant here as the poor poor victim when instead he was committing a crime trying to steal votes over social media.

          You right-wingers sure do try to get a lot of mileage out of the victim card, don’t you? Do something shameful, then when you’re called on it, scream “help help I’m being oppressed!” It is a not-funny version of a Monty Python skit.

          1. And how was he “trying to steal votes over social media”, collectivistjeff?

            1. You know the answer, of course.

              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-27/twitter-user-charged-by-u-s-with-2016-election-interference

              He told people that they could “vote” by texting their vote to him, using official-looking content from Hillary’s campaign.

              This is different of course than just meme shitposting. But that is what your type does, do something horrible and then scream ‘oppression’ when you are called out on it.

          2. Jeff can’t explain how posting memes is stealing votes, but let’s see if he can excuse this:

            https://spectator.org/georgia-runoffs-voter-intimidation/?utm_source=LibertyNation

            In the weeks before Georgia’s momentous election on January 5, 2021, some voters received an unusual letter supposedly from an institution called the Center for Civic Information (CCI). The outside of the envelope enticingly declared, “INSIDE: YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S VOTING GRADE.”

            The enclosed CCI letter listed seven neighborhoods by individual residents’ names, as in “John Doe’s Neighborhood.” Each recipient’s neighborhood, designated with that recipient’s name, topped the list.

            Next to this list were two columns. The first was headed “Current Grade” and contained letter grades for each neighborhood. The second column was headed “2021 Runoff Election Grade” and contained blanks for grades that supposedly would be awarded after January 5.

            What did this mean? The letter explained, “Dear [recipient’s name]: ARE YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS PARTY VOTERS?”

            The CCI’s letter claimed its records show “most Americans vote for candidates from both parties.” But, the letter continued, “some people keep blindly voting based on party alone.” The CCI explained it was “sending this mailing to you and your neighbors to publicize which nearby neighborhoods actually vote for candidates from both parties”

            …Voters across Georgia described receiving similar letters, as reported here, here, and here. Recipients were disturbed by the idea someone was tracking their voting choices and by the threat to disclose those choices publicly, contrary to the American system’s cherished tradition of a secret ballot.

            1. Take your whataboutist crap elsewhere.

              1. You always try to worm out of accusations of hypocrisy by crying “whataboutism”, but you’re not even using the term correctly.

                Anyway, you still haven’t explained how posting memes is stealing votes.

              2. chemjeff’s definition of whataboutism:

                It’s ok when his side does it, not ok when his opponents engage in it.

            2. ¡Yo! Lamenting Mother. The letter you you mentioned referenced %’s of voters from different “Neighborhoods” [i.e., “Precincts”] who crossed party lines? Are you implying voters were being pressured to stop doing so? God forbid they should wake up to the wisdom of Albert Einstein’s aphorism: “Doing the same thing (voting for the same party for 50+ years) and expecting a different result (solving the same problems they’ve been promised to be fixed, if they’d only keep voting the same way – ‘This Election’) is the definition of insanity”? I suppose you want a “Truth Commission” to approve such a radical idea. Right? How did they know who voted for who? They didn’t. What they know they got from public records; number of voters registered for each party (or independent, declined to specify, etc) in each precinct. Total number of votes cast in elections past and for which candidates who were in which party, etc. Voter roles contain party affiliation, contact information, etc. (“Keep them cards and letters comin’, folks.” -Every election cycle.) Not hard to send out letters addressed to each and every one of the voters if they wish to and make them look “Personalized” in that way. Unfortunately, “An Informed Electorate … ” is usually dangerous to the current crop of politico’s in charge.

        4. At this point, when I read some story about “here’s a right-winger being oppressed for his conservative views”, my knee-jerk reaction is that instead, the ‘victim’ here did something horrible, got called out on it, and now screams ‘oppression!’ as a way to generate sympathy and maybe a large GoFundMe account. This is what it’s come to.

          1. Sounds good.
            Don’t expect to be saved.

            1. Saved by who? You? You can’t even save yourself.

          2. I don’t actually know what the situation is, but I’m here to lie and sow discord; so let me villify him make up some reasons why the phony charges aren’t a problem.

              1. (Shit, I’ll post a link to the story and pretend it legitimizes my inference while ignoring calls for me to justify my position. I hope nobody reads it)

                Seeee….

      2. Especially ironic considering that blacks call each other this name all the time.

  2. Students are denied free speech myriad ways on college campuses.

    Why shouldn’t Republicans get in on the oppression game?

    1. You can speak on a campus if you pay the security fee to protect you from left wing violence. No 1A violation here.

      Fuck off and die, Reason.

    2. If only to drop the pretense that Republicans are some type of noble defenders of the Constitution.

      1. …seriously, please?
        It’s making it hard to excuse the egregious behavior of the Democrats if we can’t “both sides”.

        1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

          1. Fuck off Sarc
            Fuck off DoL
            Fuck off WK

            1. Fuck off fifty-center. Go peddle your narrative somewhere else.

              1. That was obviously meant for chemleft, ThomasD. Not you.

      2. How did you serve your country, oh great windscreen latrine digger?

  3. “These demands obviously violate the First Amendment.”

    Are University Presidents considered the government?

    1. Are they government universities?

      1. Yes and yes. The First Amendment is not compulsory at private universities but Univ of Tenn is considered an arm of the government.

        1. So, you are implying I should have the 1st amendment right to call a black the “n” word on a public university campus with no retribution?

          1. Not implying it. Flatly saying it. No retribution from the government nor from the school. The wording of the First Amendment is pretty clear.

            However, you are still accountable to the person you insulted.

    2. These are public universities, operated under the authority of the state government, so the post of university president is a government job.

      It is not clear that regulating behavior like this would violate the First Amendment any more than penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. The policies would need to be carefully written, but they could be made much more defensible than many actions we have recently seen by presidents or regents of public universities.

      1. Or the University dictating what can and cannot appear on the student’s uniforms.

    3. They can kneel for the anthem all they want, but they also do not have to remain on the team.

      Playing for the school is not a right.

  4. You know, I’m beginning to believe that when the vast majority of our politicians take their oath of office that includes language about defending the constitution that they don’t really mean it.

    Possible with some of them that they’re just too stupid to understand it, but that excuse won’t work for most.

    1. They do mean it. When they say it. When they say something else, they mean that too.

      I think the difficulty arises from the strong possibility that they have no memory at all of what they say or what that means.

    2. How about a requirement to read the Constitution aloud as part of being sworn in? One patriotic hour as an incoming civil servant to “refresh your memory”.

    3. Mostly, they’re just pandering for votes.

    4. This analysis is stupid. Those same players are also restricted from making all sorts of other statements – such as commercial endorsements – but nobody is crying and calling it a violation of their rights.

      Representing the school in sports automatically entails abiding by the schools rules about behavior while representing the school.

      Else why listen to the coaches at all?

  5. The fastest way to stop this kneeling virtue signalling is for everyone else to kneel too. It will rob it of its pungency faster than Prop 65 stickers robbed Prop 65 of its pungency. What these legislators need to do is mandate kneeling. They can grab the maximum virtue signalling while killing this particular form.

    1. Or have NFL players kneel during the “black national anthem”.

      1. “black national anthem”

        Rapper’s Delight, by The Sugarhill Gang?

        1. Worse, it has lines in favor of God and patriotism:

          God of our weary years,
          God of our silent tears,
          thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
          thou who has by thy might,
          led us into the light,
          keep us forever in the path, we pray
          lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee,
          least our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee,
          shadowed beneath the hand,
          may we forever stand,
          true to our God,
          True to our native land.

          https://www.metrolyrics.com/lift-every-voice-and-sing-lyrics-james-weldon-johnson.html

          Of course, that’s the third verse, so maybe nobody ever gets to it.

        2. what you hear is not a test!

    2. Or we could stop the virtual signaling of playing the national anthem for mere sports events. Most people don’t realize how recent that “tradition” is.

      1. Appeasement totes works with totalitarians

        1. That’s a reasonable point of view.

          But I will ask you to put it aside for a minute and think about a hypothetical. In a universe where there was no tradition of national anthems at the start of sporting events, what would be your justification for starting that tradition? Play the national anthem at 4th of July celebrations, Memorial Day events and civic celebrations, sure. But football games? Why?

          And, please, let’s try to find a justification for starting that tradition that doesn’t make us look like North Korea.

          1. Not justifying the tradition, but it is now a thing.
            What else should we give in to the leftists on?

            1. It’s not “giving in” if it’s something I don’t care about in the first place. When you start opposing things simply because leftists are in favor of them, you’re not thinking for yourself anymore.

            2. What bignose said. Oppose leftists (or rightists or anything-elseists) when they are wrong but recognize that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Opposing someone just because of who they are makes you as dogmatically intolerant as they are.

              1. Lol

                “But Hitler just wants the Sudatenland”

                Keep up the appeasement!

                1. Got it – you’re a tribalist thinker who would rather demonize imagined opponents than engage in real discussion.

                  Nevertheless, I’ll try one last time. It’s not appeasement when the other person is right (even when they are right for the wrong reason). Tell my why you think the tradition of playing the national anthem at the start of mere sport events should have been started.

    1. Poor old duffer, he could be in his La-Z-Boy eating applesauce and watching Matlock, but instead he’s standing on a cold stage, trying to read a teleprompter while being blinded by the spotlights.

      It’d be heartbreaking if I cared.

  6. Is benching a player for controversial conduct considered punishment? That is a closer call, I think.

    1. Yes, this was my thought as well. It isn’t clear to me that in a sporting event, where the players are representing the school, that students have the same first amendment rights as they might have in other contexts. Could a coach, for example, kick someone off of the team for their expression of their political beliefs, in the name of cohesion of the team? Could a school pull a scholarship from a student who criticizes the school, e.g., calls it racist? I’m not sure it’s so cut-and-dry. Unwise, etc. maybe. But a First Amendment violation?

  7. Hey look, Robby has a “both sides” article!

  8. The day is rapidly approaching when a politician is going to burst out laughing when they come to the “upholding the constitution” portion of their swearing in.

    1. Not if they decide that the constitution is a living document that can mean different things to different people.

    2. “How can I ‘protect the Constitution’ without a *gun*?!”

  9. State Republicans doubling down on the culture war. Is this really the issues we should be dealing with? Poor Liz Cheney is out there trying to say that Republican are not the party of white supremacists and these guys are telling people no protesting racial inequality.

    1. “these guys are telling people no protesting racial inequality”

      No, they’re telling them not to race hustle and virtue signal. Nevertheless, I strongly support the race hustlers right to kneel and virtue signal if they want.

      1. I glad to here you still support race hustling because the Republicans do a lot of it. Or am I wrong and its not race hustling if your just supporting whites over other races?

        1. You’re wrong because you’re lying about the preference for whites. Just because someone isn’t publicly degrading working class whites like your team, doesn’t mean they’re placing them on a pinnacle.

          Your (lily-white) party elite may present themselves as anti-racist, but this is merely a way of defending their class interests against working class whites.

          1. There is nothing about degrading anyone here. We are talking about leaving people to protest. This is about trying to put black people in their place to make a small group happy. Athlete protesting in no way degrades working class whites and yet law makers want to stop it. This about control over a race of people.

            1. “This about control over a race of people.”

              To you, which is why you’re so insistent that they kneel.

        2. Or am I wrong

          Pretty much always.

    2. It doesn’t matter what they’re protesting or if they’re protesting at all. Who gives a shit if someone kneels during the national anthem?

      1. They can do their protesting off the field.

      2. Then they can do it on their own time. Not be a bunch of drama
        queens hijacking a non political event for their own egos.

  10. Can’t believe THIS is the first amendment article we got.

    Good thing you have a benefactor who doesn’t mind losing money to pump out lies. Hope you guys sleep well after you cash those checks.

  11. Clearly the best way to deal with people disastified with the actions of government is by giving them even more oppressive government.

    1. Boggles the mind, don’t it?

  12. Our universities teach White students that they are immoral and contemptible if they don’t support the White Genocide that’s being carried out by massive third-world immigration and FORCED assimilation i.e diversity for EVERY White country and ONLY White countries.
    Their professors never tell them, “White self-hatred is SICK!!!“
    Those professors claim to be anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    1. Piss off, Jeff.
      Your astroturfing isn’t tricking anybody.

      1. lol

        1. …I got caught.

  13. Dumb move, Tennessee Repubs.

    I don’t know the political climate of state universities in Tennessee. But if it’s like most campuses around the country, Republicans and conservatives are often treated like second class citizens and their rights to free speech and free assembly are restricted or constantly under attack on lots of campuses. That’s where their focus should be, addressing the tyranny of the campus Left and their enabling professors and administrators.

    1. But if it’s like most campuses around the country

      All campuses are like most campuses around the country (with the exception of explicitly ideological right-wing institutions like Hillsdale).

      Academia is a mono-culture, internationally, and has been for decades. I guarantee the professors and administrators at state universities in Tennessee are much more closely in touch with other professors and administrators around the western world than they are with the people who live in the towns that their universities are in, let alone the people who live in non-college towns in TN.

      In fact, in the context of academia what places like state universities in TN are for is to provide starter jobs for people who eventually want to get jobs in coastal cities.

  14. https://twitter.com/esaagar/status/1364640610087546888

    A useful concept I got from
    @eriktorenberg
    is that censorship is “moving up the stack”. The serious call by lawmakers to take down Fox etc is latest evidence and harbinger of whats to come. Next are protocols. Eventually ISPs. We have to resist that

  15. dudes it’s 2021 know when you’re being trolled.

  16. I assume the racial inequality that the students are protesting has something to do with the under-representation of whites and Asians on the team, right?

  17. They should just call for the elimination of taxpayer subsidies to the athletic programs (including scholarships) as well as the taxpayer subsidizing the university itself. Let them kneel all they want. But let them pay for the goods and services they are using.

  18. https://twitter.com/Sportsf08980142/status/1364600389228769287?s=19

    We are in 1933 germany.
    Most do not know it.
    Worse. More do not even know what im referring to.

    1. 1931 Spain, and the King has just fled.

      Whole lot of pain left.

      And on that note…been away for a few days. Did you guys cover the news that a bunch of Congressional Dems asked for someone to take the nuclear keys away from Biden? https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/feb/24/democrats-ask-joe-biden-cede-authority-nuclear-lau/

      In an age of never before seen access to information, and these geniuses can leak they sent a letter to Biden, but not post the contents of it?

        1. Kinda a weird thing to be thinking about at the moment.
          Methinks the prospect of nuclear war is a lot closer than any of us would assume. At least on a limited, likely orchestrated, scale.
          Such a proposal could provide checks against an unstable president, but it would also collectivize and dilute responsibility…

          1. It’s not too bad an idea, when the current decision-maker might send off the nukes, when he wakes up from his nap and his pudding is too runny.

  19. What’s up Peanuts?

    Reminder for some of you laggards:

    Trump recap:

    worst jobs record since the Great Depression
    worst single year and four year GDP since the Great Depression
    escalates trade wars and fails in trade deals
    fails to build wall and make Mexico pay for it as promised
    fails in pandemic response
    record deficits – up to 5x higher than his predecessor left
    attempted overthrow of election
    complete disregard for US Constitution and democracy
    failed allies and NATO
    gave Iran runway to develop nuclear weapons

    Trump = Total failure

    1. Trump recap for our retarded friend Buttplug:

      Goofus – “worst jobs record since the Great Depression”
      Gallant – Best jobs record in decades until the Covid pandemic. Did Trump invent Covid and are you retarded?

      Goofus – “worst single year and four year GDP since the Great Depression”
      Gallant – Best GDP in decades until the Covid pandemic. Did Trump invent Covid and are you retarded?

      Goofus – “escalates trade wars and fails in trade deals”
      Gallant – Swapped NAFTA for the infinitely superior USMCA. Are you retarded?

      Goofus – “fails to build wall and make Mexico pay for it as promised”
      Gallant – The wall is still being built. What kind of idiot expects a wall from the Atlantic to the Pacific to materialize overnight. Are you retarded?

      Goofus – “fails in pandemic response”
      Gallant – (He finally recognizes the pandemic happened) Do you not understand Federalism? Covid management is the domain of the governors, not the president. Are you retarded?

      Goofus – “record deficits – up to 5x higher than his predecessor left”
      Gallant – Oops, what happened to the pandemic? Maybe explain how veto proof budget bills are Trump’s and not Pelosi’s fault. Do you even know how government works? Are you retarded?

      Goofus – “attempted overthrow of election”
      Gallant – The election was a fraudulent sham, and so are your Reichstag fire claims of insurrection and overthrow attempts. Are you a fascist?

      Goofus – “complete disregard for US Constitution and democracy”
      Gallant – By the people who filled DC with troops based on a lie?

      Goofus – “failed allies and NATO”
      Gallant – Fuck NATO, you fucking warpig… also, what ally did he fail? Dishonest warmongering retard.

      Goofus – “gave Iran runway to develop nuclear weapons”
      Gallant – Who is Obama?

      Also:
      First Step Act
      Attempted rapproachment with the DPRK
      Peace deal with the Taliban
      Peace agreement between the Serbs and Kosovars
      Peace deals between Arabs and Israelis
      No New Wars

      Trump = Best president ever. He did more for Trade and world peace than any president since WW2.

      (repost – for Buttplug – I don’t give a shit about George Bush and believe he’s just as responsible as anyone else for the 2008 financial crisis, so you can cram you’re false equivalancy and your dishonest narrative up your lying ass)

      1. Fuck off Tulpa.
        Figures you are one of the Trumpbots around here.
        Trump single-handedly turned Team Red into a cult of personality. If you think that is a positive development then you need your head examined.
        But of course since you are Tulpa, you are overdue for that anyway.

      2. Also, it is ironic that the people who in 2016 were casting their votes with T-shirts proclaiming “Fuck Your Feelings” were, in 2020, trying to defend their votes by citing policy. It was all just emotional rage-voting the whole way.

        I guarantee you that the number of people who actually voted for Trump based on policy alone, and not as an emotional reaction whatsoever, could fit in a phone booth. The vast majority of Trump voters would have voted for Trump even if he had taken the exact opposite policy positions on everything, but just wrapped himself in the flag harder.

  20. Is today’s violent right-wing-extremist threat more dangerous than in the 1990s?

    During his confirmation hearing, Merrick Garland made a dramatic claim about right-wing-extremist violence — one that, if true, has worrisome implications for the future of Trumpism’s hold on our politics, and more generally for the future of our democracy.

    Garland, who is President Biden’s pick to be the next attorney general, was asked about the parallels between the current moment and the mid-1990s, when the far-right militia movement culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing, killing 168 people.

    “I certainly agree that we are facing a more dangerous period than we faced in Oklahoma City and at that time,” Garland said. He added that his “first priority” as attorney general would be to carry forward a broad investigation of the violent insurrectionist attack on the Capitol.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/22/garland-hearing-right-wing-extremist-violence/

    1. Wow.
      So much for the Obama administration’s phony narrative that Garland was a prudent, apolitical moderate.
      This US dodged a bullet by not having that sociopathic demagogue on the court.

  21. Don’t understand the kneeling thing. Traditionally, knelling has been the sign of submission. To God, or the Pope, or the King, or your Lord of the Manor, or the Commisar, or the woman you want to marry. Protesting would be the John Carlos fist in the air salute.

    1. I know. Wouldn’t it make more sense to turn your back or something rather than the universal sign of submission.

      Oh well, it’s not like Woke signaling ever made sense.

      1. No, because it is not their intention to disrespect the flag. It is intended as a gesture of respect, which it is.

        The only problem here is your thinking that silent protest in favor of basic human rights is disrespectful of American values. Fuck you and the parade you goosestepped in from.

        1. It’s rich privileged millionaires and billionaires virtue signaling. Don’t pretend it’s anything else.

        2. No, you fucking idiot.
          It was started by an ingrate, soon-to-be-cut quarterback, who sat on his useless ass, when everyone else was standing as a sign of respect for the anthem and the country it represents.
          “Kneeling” was supposed to be not as disrespectful, but still aimed at the country, something admitted to by the asshole, who started it.

  22. No it wouldn’t. Being on a sports team is a privilege not a right. The athletes can choose to either not kneel or leave the team.

    1. Being an American is a privilege, not a right. Pay your taxes.

      1. Tony thinks paying taxes is the due the government is owed for granting us the right to be Americans. Tony apparently thinks the government gets to decide whether or not people born on American soil to Americans are Americans. That says a lot about Tony’s mindset.

  23. Ha! WASPs, who are currently going absolutely insane, need only place a wager that the society we end up with won’t gore their particular ox, only everyone else’s. Because it’s not individual freedom they’re after. Oh no.

    And they had you worried about the income tax and Antifa the whole time they were setting up genuine state worship. Carrying a cross and waving a flag. We tried to warn you for 40 goddamn years. Now I expect you’ll correct your error and join the left to defeat the fascists. Why would you want to be on the side of fascists, even if they win? Think you’ll get a nice post at the central lesbian re-education camp? Do you dream of working within saluting distance of Chancellor Taylor-Greene?

  24. With their recent anti-cancel-culture crusade, conservatives occasionally sound as if they would like to be the party of free speech; this kind of behavior exposes them as hypocrites.

    Way to cast aspersions Robby. Should we really be pronouncing judgement on conservatives writ large based on what a bunch of doofus state senators think?

  25. That so many people are going apeshit over the kneeling shows that the protests are actually working. This is actually SOP for nonviolent protest:

    1. Engage in some very ordinary activity to protest an injustice (march across a bridge, kneel for a song)
    2. Wait for the overreaction to the activity (send dogs and firehoses after the protestors, pass laws making the activity itself illegal)
    3. Use the horrified response to the overreaction to further your cause of protest

    1. LOL like BLM? They will fail because they’re woke dipshits. I don’t know what strain of “protesters” you grew up with (did you ever grow up?). But that culture is dead. You will see what I mean.

  26. If the players are free to kneel then aren’t the spectators free to leave the stands, enter the court, and tell them all to eat a bag of dicks?

    Wait, there are limits to speech and behavior you say?

  27. Republicans act like Leftists. Story at eleven.

    This is Tennessee after all. Part of the Bible Belt. Therefore the Republicans in that state demand literal worship of the state by requiring football players to stand for the state anthem.

    Yes, I stand for national anthem. Except when I’m at home and it’s on TV. But out in public I do. Because it’s habit, NOT because the state religion trumps the First Amendment.

    I don’t have to say “amen” in church, but I do have to stand if I’m on the field. Stupid.

  28. I have a question for all of the Conservatives out there. I’ve asked this question many times and yet have I gotten an actual answer.
    Why do you consider kneeling during the National Anthem to be disrespectful behavior?
    I’ve gotten 3 general answers to this question, but none of them work.
    1. Veterans served and died for America. I agree with this 100%. The problem is that it isn’t answering the question I asked, it’s answering the question of “Why would it be bad to disrespect the Flag/Anthem?” That’s not the question I asked.
    2. Stated purpose. This one is an obvious lie since Kaep specifically asked an ex Green Beret how he could protest respectfully.
    3. Flag Code. Leaving aside the obvious hypocrisy of this reason, it fails the same “does it answer the original question” test. Just because it violates flag code does not make it disrespectful. It’s a protest; most protests violate some soft code in one way or another. Sit-ins weren’t considered disrespectful, and they were actually disruptive.
    Searching around I have not found a single instance where taking one knee is a disrespectful act.
    So, does anyone have an actual answer for me?

    1. i think the problem is that answering that question for you is an endeavor like explaining ‘yellow’ to a color-blind person.

  29. What no one seems to have addressed so far (one poster did touch on one aspect of it) is the culture of athletics.

    Those who are kneeling are members of a team (how many times have we seen the truism “there is no “i” in team”.

    But there is more to it than that. Even if you set aside the split kneeling may cause to a team, and teamwork two more issues raise their head. I would suggest a big part of the decline in NFL attendance (which started well before COVID-19 was kneeling players was the cause of lost eyeballs. But in college sports even more important than fans are boosters that contribute big bucks to university athletic programs, and even more important the bagmen that pay under the table perks to get athletes to attend a particular university.

    Not trying to start an argument but the University of Alabama and Clemson University (maybe Ohio State University as well) have dominated college football for the last several years. Point is you don’t hear about any players from those schools kneeling. Back in the day I was a legit photographer for some of the minor sports at Florida State University. One year when FSU was still a football power I got in a conversation about kneeling with a black player on the Clemson Lady Volleyball team and she indicated that like it or not Clemson athletes got the message (not from admins, or even coaches) that kneeling was a no no.

    Point is that even at a now second rate football power like Tennessee athletes get a lot of perks (both above and below board) that are dependent on how they present their selves in public. If you are getting a weekly under the table payoff or your Mom (or uncle, or random relative) is getting benefits for you playing that is the real power over whether you kneel or not.

    Not trying to justify what the pols are doing; just pointing out that realistically football players are employees (even if off the books) and while the boss may not always be right he is always the boss.

  30. I wonder what the penalty is if you don’t stand for the Flag or kneel for the Cross, but just sit down and think, kind of like Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker?

  31. Are you or your “representatives” threatening someone with an initiation of violence today?

  32. Interesting side note, in my local newspaper this morning was a new bill by Republicans to require the playing of the national anthem at sporting events. So it will be you must play it and they must stand. Let freedom ring?

  33. If kneeling for the National Anthem is an expression of an athlete’s personal beliefs, even in a publicly funded institution and is a constitutionally protected act, then a student or coach taking a knee in prayer at the same event in the same institution must equally be so protected as well. Especially at self proclaimed “Institutions of Highr Learning” where they (used to) pride themselves on places where, “The Free and Open Discussion of Ideas Takes Place”.

    1. [Addendum: Correction, “Higher” Learning, etc. The inability of this platform to allow commenter’s to edit in or out a missed comma, or some such does not seem “Reason”-able.]

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