Free and Brave, Say It or Else!

Some coaches and teams are telling sports players that they must stand during the singing of the National Anthem during sporting events or risk getting fired and blackballed, as happened to NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

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16 thoughts on “Free and Brave, Say It or Else!

  1. I am awaiting some patriotic general manager of some NFL team to address Colin Kaepernick with words to the effect of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Will any NFL team owner have the courage to stand up to an overbearing pompous head of state and act in a manner befitting a free and uncowed man ?

    Or is the singing of the words “in land of the free and home of the brave” only a sad joke made with false bravado and piss in the vocalist’s boots?

    • Recall, Glenn, that that particular song brags that :

      «No refuge could save the hireling and slave
      From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,»

      Why should a US football team’s «owner» – consider what the «ownership of the means of production» means in this case – espouse the causes of his «hireling[s] and slave[s]» ?…

      Henri

      • “Why should a US football team’s «owner» – consider what the «ownership of the means of production» means in this case – espouse the causes of his «hireling[s] and slave[s]» ?…”

        Only to give lip service to the US as a classless society, and to be spoken by the wealthy rulers before their lessers, hirelings, slaves, etc., in order to promote the myth of the democratic nature of our capitalist government.

      • «Only to give lip service to the US as a classless society, and to be spoken by the wealthy rulers before their lessers, hirelings, slaves, etc., in order to promote the myth of the democratic nature of our capitalist government.» A good point, Glenn, but on the other hand, these advantages must be balanced against the dire risk that those hirelings and slaves might take such rhetoric seriously and get uppity….

        Henri

      • «That’s why guns.» Do you mean, Glenn, that these «owners» will have guns trained on their hirelings and slave and if they do take the knee when the US National Anthem is played, they will be shot ? Or perhaps you were simply referring to the historical origins of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America ?…

        Henri

      • “hirelings and slaves might take such rhetoric seriously and get uppity….”

        I seriously doubt the need for such overt violence when a simple lawful firing is more effective than firing a gun.

        But law not backed by a credible threat of violence is a mere suggestion, and so ultimately failure to respond to a lawful “suggestion” will incite the lawful violence, not the bent knee.

  2. There is a young man who carries my name, who expressed in an email to me (and family and friends) with regard to Ted’s previous posts: “I am confused. How can you advocate for both freedom of speech and banning speech (the pledge and the national anthem are both speech) in the same breath?”

    My response: “I agree with the first part of your email.
    It isn’t ‘free speech’ if it is through coercion.”

    That was two days ago, and I haven’t heard back. 😀

    • > It isn’t ‘free speech’ if it is through coercion …

      … especially when a government institution (“school”) is the one doing the coercing.

      In my day, a student would be sent to The Principal’s Office if he substituted a few words of The Pledge (Not that I have any direct experience) (cough)

      derlehrer excepted of course. I expect he was encouraged to enforce The Pledge; but won’t speculate as to how hard he worked at it. 🙂 😀 🙂

      *No, seriously – I really, truly, honestly thought I was pledging allegiance to the republic that let witches stand.

      • Well, it appears as though you (un)intentionally let us know what words you substituted.

        But your intimation that I enforced the Pledge is awry — I could not in good conscience allow myself to be “encouraged to enforce” upon others an activity to which I personally object.

      • derlehrer – I believe my words have been misconstrued.

        I fully expected that you, personally, would not enforce a practice with which you, personally, did not agree.

        Rather it was a comment about the school administration who probably did encourage yo do do so. If not, then you were lucky to be in a such a progressive school.

  3. The brave are freed from their income—but not from their expenses.

    “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.”

    “Pretty Boy Floyd”— Woody Guthrie

    • Speech is regulated in the workplace.

      Your boss may not fine you thousands dollars for what he deems to be speech crimes, but he can make you thousands of dollars poorer by firing you.

      Money is the means of governing society. Separation from what is needed to live easily turns into a death sentence when a sick person’s life depends on that money.

      The workplace is not a democracy, but then what is?

  4. That’s ancient history. Today, they’re linking arms and kneeling with the players. Is that progress or the enlightened self-interest of those with a financial stake in the success of pro sports?

    Does it matter? Progress is progress, even if some individuals’ motives are less than pure.

    Fun fact: Fox news has announced that it will no longer air the anthem. That’s almost as bad as not wearing your flag lapel pin!

    • I have lived in Germany, and I am currently living in Mexico. Neither country goes to such extremes as the United States does in order to brainwash the citizenry and residents into “patriotism.” The Germans are especially averse to such propaganda, having learned from the Nazis where it can lead. If the U.S. government wants patriotism, it should adhere to the principles that are espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Doing so will instill pride and dedication (“allegiance”?) in everyone.

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