The satirical newspaper The Onion ran a story the other day headlined “I Just Wish NFL Players Could Find A Way To Protest Without Starting A National Dialogue,” and considering that the media is still talking about Colin Kaepernick, I can’t help but agree. For anyone out of the loop, Colin Kaepernick sparked a national conversation (and endless coverage) following his protest of the national anthem. stating that he wouldn’t stand for a country that “oppresses black people.”
Those rushing to his defense quickly pointed out that he has freedom of speech to do so – which no one denied in the first place. Kaepernick’s critics are simply criticizing the substance of his protest and political beliefs. I don’t particularly care much, and wouldn’t even be writing about this if there wasn’t a double standard for conservatives in the world of professional sports.
As the Daily Caller reported: Seattle Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger has been suspended for criticizing Black Lives Matter and President Obama.
“BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!” the backup catcher tweeted out about the riots in Charlotte.
He also tweeted, “Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha s— cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the Anthem!”
— X (@XLNB) September 23, 2016
The Mariners announced on Friday that he would be suspended for the rest of the season without pay. Clevenger will lose out on about $30,000 in salary according to ESPN reporter Darren Rovell.He has since released a statement apologizing for the tweets that criticized Obama and BLM.
The comments on the apology above were mixed, but most defended Clevenger.
While freedom of speech isn’t freedom to speak without consequence – why should he suffer for criticizing Black Lives Matter, and rioters who are, by every definition of the word, criminals – while Colin Kaepernick gets a free pass? Either both should be punished, or neither should (and in the spirit of the First Amendment, I’m leaning towards the latter).
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]